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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
Realizing that everyone will have a different perspective this review is from a reasonably upscale couple from Canada who have been on several cruises. Here is what we feel is "the good, the bad and the ugly".The Good: Great ... Read More
Realizing that everyone will have a different perspective this review is from a reasonably upscale couple from Canada who have been on several cruises. Here is what we feel is "the good, the bad and the ugly".The Good: Great service from all of the staff. Our room steward, room service, our dining servers, the bar staff, the tour desk and the front desk, were all terrific. They were always exceptionally courteous, helpful and friendly. An easy "10" and kudos to Celebrity/Costa training programs and selection of staff.The room was terrific. Great shower. Excellent balcony. Well appointed with comfortable bed, bar fridge, storage, etc. Our AC broke down (stuff happens) and was repaired by next day. The dining room food a la carte was acceptable but really not great. Average tasting food was always presented very nicely...all "show and no go". The fish was always done very well. I would rate the dining room experience a 6 but a 10 for the staff. Bar service (which was always extra cost) was, not surprisingly, always terrific.The Bad: Despite the tap water in the room not being marked as "not potable" we were told by all staff that it "was not safe to drink" (incredulous). The feeling is that they were told to say that to help the ship sell more expensive bottled water at about $5 per or sign up for additional various extra cost "package" plans (or go to the buffet area). We constantly felt like we were being nickel and dimed as staff would try to sell the extra-price packages.The buffet was below what I would even call a cafeteria. Always crowded. Very limited selection and limited availability and hours. Bland, tasteless and very unappetizing food. How can you go wrong with pizza on an Italian boat? Easy. The pizza could have been right out of a box. Juice at lunch? Nope. Only water. Juice available only with the breakfast buffet unless you wanted to pay extra. We just shook our head and sighed. No coffee maker in room? Come on. Had to order it from room service with a $2 per visit charge (for anything on a very limited "room service" menu). Extended room service menu ran about $6 pp. Internet? Wifi advertised but runs $15 per hour and very spotty. The "hour" is more like 10 minutes as very slow. No deck bars (open) or waiter service. You want a drink? Hike down several floors then carry it back up. The excursions were very limited and descriptions were skimpy. Boat tour of Stockholm? Only offered in German and Italian. We took anyway and fortunately the boat had English audio on the headsets. No ATM on board and no way of getting cash - euros, rubles, dollars, whatever. They have currency exchange but you need cash to exchange. Ancient TV in room with one English channel (BBC) and remote that did not work properly. Minor, yes but 2 days at sea....?The boat was built in 2003 and is showing it's age. Stains on the room floor carpets, a backed up septic system leaving our hallway smelling putrid for 2 days, and similar observations. The public washrooms were all exceptionally clean, modern and well appointed. In terms of the shows not one caught our interest based on the description provided in the daily guide.The Ugly: The coffee. How could an Italian boat have the absolute worst coffee we have ever had. Nobody seemed to pay any attention to this. Room service coffee ($2.50 per visit) was like syrup...terrible). Buffet coffee was watered down. Terrible. We asked for a coffee after dinner in the "upscale" a la carte dining room and were told "sorry, it has been turned off" (this was at 9:30 pm). Only other place to get coffee was to pay extra at the bar. The best coffee we had on the entire trip was at a McDonalds on one of the excursions (which I really hate to admit to).So, that's about it. Based on the full fair we paid for this cruise and knowing then what we know now and compared to other cruises, we would not have gone. I think the staff worked hard to make the best of a situation they knew that we were being taken advantage of. Our sense is that owners/management are trying to squeeze every last dollar out of everyone without delivering on expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
For the first time we took Costa Cruice in summer 2008 in Mediterranean Tour from Barcelona. We were so please with experience with Costa that we decided to take Costa cruise again to Norwegian Fjords from Copenhagen for one week 9th ... Read More
For the first time we took Costa Cruice in summer 2008 in Mediterranean Tour from Barcelona. We were so please with experience with Costa that we decided to take Costa cruise again to Norwegian Fjords from Copenhagen for one week 9th June. What a disappointment and waste and money! We had a suite that we paid for the family with two children 4700e/week. What happened to Costa Cruise between these years? The huge difference from before was the crew! They were arrogant and fake friendly robots! Did the crew paid that disaster with Concordia? Did the cruise company cut their salary to pay the bill? We had in our suite a nice welcoming suggest a bottle of Spumante. Because we don´t use any alcohol, we asked for our "butler” to have an alcohol free alternative like Coca Cola instead, BUT THIS WASN´N POSSIBILE  WE DIDN´T GET ANYTHING! Our "butler” spoke so lousy English that we couldn´t understand her. Everything what we should have in our suite automatically like fresh fruit every day, lunch/diner menus  we were oblige to asked for to get some. For the first night, they took our chairs away, and we actually had to be angry and unfriendly to get them back to our suite. We also went a several time to gym/sauna and in the ladies side was a "big girl” crew member, who was so rood and unfriendly. I had problems with a locker and she didn´t want to help me at all. She preferred to gossip with her friend. We were also invited to have cocktails with the captain, but he wasn´t never there. And we were also kindly offered to take a photo with a captain, but unfortunately we were late and we took a photo with the Hotel manager instead. But that photo wasn´t free to surge as it was written on invitation! What a surprise! We went to the customer service desk, and there was a very arrogant crew member ( a man) who let us kindly know that only members on Club pearl and Gold Club pearl can have a good service in that ship. We were members only in the Club Coral. But he made a call to verified and told us, that we couldn´t have the photo with a Hotel manager free, but the photo graphed person offered to take a NEW photo and that photo we could get free! How stupid can it be? The manly crew member was very arrogant and rod to us! The food in the restaurants was excellent, but the crew was like robots with mechanic smile in the face. And after the one week in Costa Fortuna, when we leave the ship, our "friendly butler” didn´t even said goodbye! So we have shared our experience with everybody in social media like Facebook, Twitter, travel blogs and sites. Our friends chooses a Norwegian Cruice Line instead Costa Cruise because our experience. And for us, NEVER more Costa Cruises! For the next year we choose Norwegian cruise Line for holidays! What a shame! Cruising from 1948!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
This was our second cruise with Costa (did the Med in 2009) and apart from the food couldn't find a lot wrong with it then. Unfortunately, although the food has improved, they seem to have taken a backward step overall.Once again we ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Costa (did the Med in 2009) and apart from the food couldn't find a lot wrong with it then. Unfortunately, although the food has improved, they seem to have taken a backward step overall.Once again we flew into Milan (Malpensa) airport in order to get the Costa transfer coach to the ship. On this occasion we were met by two female Costa reps that were rude, unhelpful and kept all us Brits until the very last coach. The journey to the Cruise Terminal took two and a half hours and check in took another hour, getting us on board thirty minutes before sailing.CabinOur cabin was spacious, with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We had a large, comfortable bed. The en-suite was compact but not cramped and the balcony had enough room for two chairs and a side table. There was also a sofa, TV (only one English-speaking channel, with terrible reception throughout), mini-bar (charges apply) and safe in the cabin. Our luggage arrived within an hour. Later, our cabin steward introduced himself to us and he did a good job of looking after us and our cabin during the cruise.DiningBreakfast was available a-la-carte in the Michelangelo. For the brave, self service was available in the Christofor Colombo, where you find your plate and cutlery, join a queue to get your food and drink, then find a place to sit - and enjoy! Be prepared for queue-jumping and pushing in from a lot of bad-mannered passengers. There was quite an extensive selection of food, to suit all tastes (but never any baked beans). Lunch options were the same as for breakfast, and again a wide variety was available. Dinner had two sittings, 6.45 and 9.15 pm, in both the Michelangelo and the Raffaello restaurants. On the first night you have an allotted time and table, but this can be changed later for the rest of the cruise. This four course meal was waiter service only. There was plenty of choice and the food and service was exceptional.... a vast improvement on our previous cruise with Costa. All beverages, including tea and coffee, had to be paid for, though jugs of iced water were free.* If you don't use the dining rooms for dinner the only other option was pizza in the Christofor Colombo.There was also the Club Conte Grande restaurant, which has a premium.DrinksThere were up to ten bars available ranging in times from 7.00 am to 1.30.am, serving alcohol (spirits 5.30 for 5cls, wine 4.95 a small glass, draught beer 4.90 for 40cls, or cans 4.95 for 33cls, cocktails 6.95, liqueurs 4.95 for 5cls), soft drinks (2.95 a can), water (1.70 a half litre), tea (2.00) and cappuchino (2.50). *All prices are euros.Around the shipThere were two small pools with jacuzzis and a larger pool with a water chute (couldn't find the fourth advertised pool). There was also a wellness centre (charge) and a modern fitness centre. There was a disco, a library, a few shops, a theatre and a casino. The casino was a smoking area, as was the adjoining room (doors permanently open), therefore ventilation was poor. Next to the smoking room was the piano bar, also with open doors. Entertainment/shows took place in two showrooms, and the Rex Theatre which covered three decks. Overall we found all of the shows to be quite ordinary. Bingo sessions were held occasionally.ExcursionsTwenty six of the thirty seven excursions for English-speaking passengers were cancelled. The Tour Office said this was due to a lack of numbers, and unfortunately for safety reasons we were not allowed to go on any of the other language speaking coaches. The Tour Office also had no information about the ports we were visiting, and when we complained we were told "Its a nice day for a walk". *A little research into ports of call before you sail may therefore be of help.Disembarkation ran smoothly.SummaryApart from the excursion problems, the overall cruise cost was just about right. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
PRE-cruise: All information received in German - despite the fact that I repeatedly emailed the company and asked to have the information sent in English. ARRIVAL cabin: cabin was much smaller than the described (mini-suite, 8 Days / ... Read More
PRE-cruise: All information received in German - despite the fact that I repeatedly emailed the company and asked to have the information sent in English. ARRIVAL cabin: cabin was much smaller than the described (mini-suite, 8 Days / 4800 USD 2 per) believe they have figured the balcony of the equation. No stewards in sight for the first 4 hours. The information - which lay on the bed - in German! In other a dull sour smell from the bathroom. Information from the speaker system: The first 2 days - no information in English. Therefore, we participated neither in the "mandatory" rescue exercise. And we were not wanted. Balcony: You pay for a mini-suite, so you must expect good 2 chairs and a table at balcony. It was plenty of room for this, but there were no chairs and only a small table (dirty with paint residues) EXCURSIONS: No excursions with English guide, neither in Buenos Aries. Montevideo, Porto Belo and Santos. It was a great disappointment to us that we did not want to conduct tours of the few English speaking guests. SHIP general: Crowded, unorganised and certainly not standard as Royal Caribbean. Self-service restaurant: Boring range, long queues, lack of cleaning. The restaurant (Dinner) Beautiful, tasty set menus good service. All in all, our fears struck. We will NEVER participate in cruises with Costa company more, and can certainly not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
This cruise was something my wife & I had been planning & looking forward to for a very long time & in the end we were more than satisfied & happy with the overall trip! We are experienced cruisers across many lines & ... Read More
This cruise was something my wife & I had been planning & looking forward to for a very long time & in the end we were more than satisfied & happy with the overall trip! We are experienced cruisers across many lines & we mainly chose this cruise because it had an overnight stay in Rio during Carnival celebrations which was a major highlight for us. We knew this Cruise would be a little different & be mainly catering towards the majority of South American passengers, so we went in with an open mind & embraced the experience. Pre cruise we stayed in Buenos Aries for 3 nights at the Kenton Palace hotel, a nice new hotel in a good location. Embarkation at the port of B.A was relatively painless considering we were only two of a handful of people there that day that spoke English. But we understood enough to know what was going on & most staff spoke enough english to guide us along. We were some of the first to board which was very handy. The only bad thing about this port is that it is a working container port & from the Terminal you are ferried away on buses to wherever your ship is docked. This was our first Costa cruise, although we had been on an almost identical build of ship on 3 previous cruises with Carnival who own Costa anyway. The ship was beautiful, especially as it was approaching 10 years old. Most of the ship was in very good condition & was spotlessly clean throughout. As opposed to the Carnival sister ships we had previously been on, this ship had a slightly different layout on the Promenade deck allowing for more bar areas & a smaller casino which was fine for us. Once again there were hardly any English speaking passengers on board but that was fine for us. We enjoy travelling & mixing with other cultures. Any important announcements were made in English & the crew & officers spoke english too. The majority of passengers were from Brazil & quite a lot also from Argentina. These two groups provided for an excellent atmosphere on board, singing, dancing, partying in general. We had cabin 1050, a balcony cabin on deck 10. Great location close to the lifts & not far from the viewing deck at the front of the ship & also just a few steps down onto Lido Deck. The cabin showed a few wear & tear marks but was clean & had everything we needed. The only negative with the cabin was that it had an older TV & you could not check your account or order things off your TV like you can with a lot of other ships. The entertainment on board was pretty good & actually a bit better than expected. The dancers & singers were all of a very good standard & the rest of the bands throughout the ship were very good also. The food in general was good but I think Costa lacks in this area compared to other lines. Firstly, we have previously become big fans of Anytime Dining & this is not something yet offered on Costa. We were assigned a nice table for two in the larger dining room at 7.30pm. The food in the dining room was not awesome but never bad either. Usually enough choice but would have been nice to see regular things like steak, or lasagne offered as an everyday menu item. The buffet was fine for breakfast & lunch but did not offer as many different items as what you may see on other Cruise lines. It would also be great if Costa kept the buffet open for dinner or at least introduce more options as far as pizza's are concerned as these are the only option other than the Dining Room for dinner. As for Drinks, we had purchased a drinks package pre-cruise which worked out to about US$26.00 per day & included a mix of spirits, wines, beers, coffees, etc. It was of really great value however we seemed to think that a lot of the drink staff, especially the drink waiters were not working for tips on this cruise. Many would just walk right by your deck chair without trying to sell you a drink. It was sometimes quicker to go to a Bar & get it yourself. Overall the majority of staff & crew were very nice & professional. Port 1: Montevideo. We did a ships excursion of the general city, suburbs area. It was ok but probably spent a little too much time driving out to see monuments rather than tour grand old buildings, etc. Port 2: Portobelo. This was our first stop in Brazil. We did another ship exc. This was a good touristy day & finished at a popular beach area. Unfortunately the weather was not too great on this day & got very wet waiting for the tender back to ship. Port 3: Santos. This was the real surprise port. We organised a private tour from the Port & it was well worth it. The beach areas along the coastline here were very scenic & everyone so friendly. Port 4: Rio De Janeiro. This port had huge expectations & it delivered. We did a tour to the major sites which we organised at the Port. There were very long lines everywhere we went but this was to be expected due to the influx of tourists for carnival. At night we went to the Sambadrome Parade & this was the major highlight of our trip. Overall we had an excellent cruise. Both Costa & the ship were a little better than we imagined they would be & would not hesitate to cruise with them again! Post cruise we stayed at the very new Boca Juniors Hotel for 1 night & this would be my first choice next time I return to Buenos Aries. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
1.I realize that these large ships have a difficult time logistically in loading all the passengers, however it took a very long time and this was probably exacerbated by the fact they arrived at the terminal about two hours late. 2. Our ... Read More
1.I realize that these large ships have a difficult time logistically in loading all the passengers, however it took a very long time and this was probably exacerbated by the fact they arrived at the terminal about two hours late. 2. Our cabin was not very clean, in fact my wife had to clean up the bathroom before we wanted to use it. Also there was a large black, greasy stain in the middle of the floor and no apparent attempt had been made to remove it. 3. The balcony area was very dirty and obviously had not been cleaned for some time - they swabbed it down on Sunday, the day before we disembarked. The coffee table on the balcony was scratched, dented, marred by cigarette burns and was something I wouldn't even consider having in my back yard. 4. Cleaning of the cabin during the week was cursory at best - we had spilled a few drops of wine on the coffee table in the cabin the first day and they were still there when we left a week later. 5. The ship was unkempt generally - it has a very garish decor however that doesn't mask the lack of maintenance that exists. 6. We were shocked at the demeanour of the crew - surly would be the best way to describe them. I guess we have been spoiled by the up-beat attitude displayed on the Princess and Holland America ships we have been on. This was definitely not a happy group!! 7. The food in the Buffet was sub-standard and service non-existent. If you wanted a knife and fork you had to go look for them - if you asked an employee for something they either ignored you or just waved a hand in the general direction where you should go to find what you wanted. 8. The restaurant dining was so-so and there is no option because there is no dinner buffet available on Costa ships as there is on Princess and Holland America ships. They had us scheduled for the late dinner sitting even though we had requested the early sitting. We did get it changed without too much difficulty. 9. When I checked my bill a couple days in, I was surprised to see a "Hotel Service Charge" for 21 euros. I went to the Service Counter and was informed that it was a standard charge by Costa for cleaning the room - refer to 2 & 4. Needless to say I was more than a little miffed and perhaps I missed that in the fine print. They may not comment on it to you as it is a pretty insignificant amount in the big picture and I am sure Costa counts on that! I think it is called "two-bitting" your customer - perhaps it has been introduced to help pay for their increased insurance premiums!! 10. Very little english is provided on loud speaker announcements, however I was constantly amazed at the command of several languages by a number of their people who were at the customer service counter and excursion desks. They should be commended for that as it is not easy to accommodate Italian, French, German & English along with an assortment of other languages. 11. If you didn't take an excursion then there was absolutely no information available as to other ways to see any particular port. I will give you one example: We didn't stop in Santorini due to weather issues and instead were diverted to Athens. As a result individuals like myself who do a fair bit of pre-cruise research had absolutely no info on transportation availability at the port. The ship hobbled together a couple expensive excursions at the last minute with nominal information. When I asked at the excursion desk what was available at the port, i.e. taxis, buses, etc. I was told that I would have to just get off the ship and see for myself. As it was, we did get off the ship with hundreds of others and found our way to a "Tour Bus" station about a mile from the ship - what a great service - $22. each for a tour of the Acropolis area and downtown Athens, plus $12. each if you wanted to tour the Acropolis. I know that cruise ships want to peddle their excursions, however in this case it would certainly have been a good marketing ploy by Costa to help people see something that was not on the itinerary. 12. I wish to provide a positive! We really enjoyed the evening shows - they were professionally done and the presenters were highly skilled. One other thing that was both amusing and yet disturbing. One day at lunch in the dining room we were seated with a couple from Germany and a couple from South Africa. The German couple ordered wine, she - red, he - white. When the wine came the German gentlemen tasted his wine and grimaced a bit - he then tasted it again and announced in german that it was definitely not the wine he had ordered. After some time and a couple more sips the waiter appeared at the table obviously realizing he had made a mistake, whereupon he picked up a glass of white wine from in front of a chinese gentleman a couple tables over and proceeded to exchange the glasses. I thought the german gentleman was going to have an apoplectic fit!! The chinese gentleman just sat there staring at the glass, perhaps thinking this was an European custom! After a certain amount of arm waving, etc. the waiter provided each person with a new glass of wine(we assume no one had previously drank out of those glasses) Needless to say, this was obviously not a highlight of our overall European trip and was very disappointing. We had planned it so that we would end up our trip on a luxurious cruise ship sailing the Greek Isles and not only did we miss the most important Island, Santorini, the experience did not meet the "luxurious" rating we had expected. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Cruise from Santos (Brazil) to Venice (Italy) in 23 days (including flights from Europe) on board the COSTA FORTUNA, a large ship of 102,000 tons with a capacity of 3,200 passengers launched in 2003. On this trip, we were about 2,300 ... Read More
Cruise from Santos (Brazil) to Venice (Italy) in 23 days (including flights from Europe) on board the COSTA FORTUNA, a large ship of 102,000 tons with a capacity of 3,200 passengers launched in 2003. On this trip, we were about 2,300 passengers on board. We are a French Canadian couple and traveled with our close friends, a couple living in Paris. Because of the world media attention regarding the circumstances of the tragic wreck that befell the COSTA CONCORDIA and then of another COSTA liner in the Indian Ocean that ended up being towed to the Seychelles Islands, some friends were actually concerned that the writer and his spouse were going to spend over three weeks on board the COSTA FORTUNA. There were many e-mails with humorous advise, the most common being to follow the captain as he was sure to get out of the ship safely...! This was no joke for some people; on the first day at the lifeboat drill while talking to another passenger, this reviewer was told that a couple of his friends had cancelled their cruise and were quite willing to loose half of its cost. There were no such fears on our part. Before leaving however, our friends teased us with a great deal of joking about: 1) navigating near the coast, 2) if our captain was a happy-go-lucky playboy like his (former) colleague, 3) to be sure to follow the captain in an emergency as he would be safe, and so on. One thing for sure, the regrettable incidents noted above were (and remained) on people's minds. COSTA thus has an enormous challenge to restore its image as a credible cruise company. Negative points: Internet access is an outright "King's Ransom" by these later day web buccaneers of the High Seas. For the princely sums of $10 for one (1) hour or $24 for three (3) hours, you can check your e-mails, etc. The only respite is logging in just to take your messages and log out. But even then, they have it figured out; this is not High Speed broadband but some "dialup" that seems to date from the days of Alexander Graham Bell. One night, out at sea between the Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, 16 messages took over 20 minutes to come in...! This is a 21st century version of extracting booty from unwilling and helpless hostages, when one thinks that, in my country, a month's broadband service is cheaper than six hours on board the appropriately named COSTA FORTUNA. Fortuna indeed! While the COSTA FORTUNA is very nicely appointed, one wonders about the management of some of the furniture upon which the passengers sit. 1) The bench-like arrangement in the dining areas, at least those sat upon, were invariably sinking one's bottom alarmingly low; this can be a real and painful experience for the more elderly who have backbone, sciatic nerves and kneecap pains. 2) Two chair's whose wooden armrests were broken and detached themselves were noted on deck 3, Buenos Aires hall. It is surprising that these "health and safety" issues are not attended to. Having a suitable dining table can be an experience... In our case, our two couples had: 1) a table at the other end of the ship at the late second service whereas a table at the restaurant almost next to our rooms and at an earlier service was, for various mobility and medical reasons, preferable. 2) Having obtained table 22 at the Michelangelo Restaurant nearby soon proved to be the coldest frigid air spot on the ship as well a being rather minuscule. Staff told the writer that no one wanted to sit there and directed us to the Maitre D who was under assault by a horde of dissatisfied clients. 3) At length, another table was assigned, consisting of benches under a stairway, which now proved unsuitable when one of us, who has serious back problems and mobility issues, could only rise with great effort and much pain from this unholy bench of penance. Even the staff, kind as always, was alarmed at seeing him gasp in agony as he grasped the wall panels and the Maitre D quickly assigned another table for the next night's diner. On the 4th try, this simple but welcomed round table with chairs proved to be relatively suitable, but it was noisy around and conversation difficult. Our kindly waiter eventually solved the difficulty by putting us at another free nearby table, the 5th and last after a week and a half of diligent efforts. The daily "Today" newsletter that listed the next day's activities was always delivered rather late on the COSTA CONCORDIA, usually at about 10 pm or so. This was annoying because it either prevented us to plan activities with our traveling companions for the next day, or else made it a late night affair. It would be very helpful if it could show up earlier, as has been our experience on past cruises. On Thursday March 29, the daily "Today" day's program announced that N. Carta Llenas, international singer, would be giving a representation at the "Rex Theatre", but when we got there, we were turned back, rather rudely I would say, by what seemed to be an enormous "bouncer" telling us that there was a cocktail for the German passengers instead. Why was this not announced in the "Today" for the information of passengers? The COSTA Tours were, well, an expensive mixed bag. The buses were comfortable and the guides adequate. However, nearly every tour in Brazil took us to the "world's most beautiful beach" and to a handicraft market whose offerings seemed usually similar at every stop. (Hence this reviewer's theory that there exists somewhere a huge factory for these items...). It was frustrating to be whisked rather quickly through the lovely historic quarters of Salvador de Bahia and Olinda (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) only to be deposited two (frustrating) hours in a beach restaurant at Salvador's outskirts and to a prison turned into craft market at Recife, thus missing the intensely unusual and interesting 17th century Dutch forts in that city. Beaches and handicraft markets don't have entry fees so that COSTA Tours' greed was proven considering a museum entry rarely exceeded $5. In fairness, it must be said that the tour of Salvador seemed somewhat better. The tours averaged $200 to $300 for four people, which was ridiculously expensive for hours at beaches and old prisons turned into doubtful crafts markets. We had regrettably reserved COSTA Tours in advance for stops in Brazil, but gave up on the COSTA Tours as not offering value for the money paid and took taxis at European ports, which proved to be much cheaper and far more enjoyable. Indeed, there seemed to have been a "passenger revolt" of sorts once we reached Europe. A tour of Malaga was suddenly offered at $39, which was still a waste since one could walk there in 15 minutes. Few must have "bitten" because tour buses at the ship were few. On the other hand, Costa now charged $7 for shuttle buses that were previously free... Always expect a new twist with those tour buccaneers! To top it off, stops in Malta and Corfu were only a few hours and, in Dubrovnik, passengers were landed at about 10 am, which left roughly two hours in that lovely place before heading back to the ship. It proved to be impossible to find shaving cream, shoelaces or a cord for securing one's eyeglasses in this 102,000 tons ship. This in spite many shops within selling eyeglasses, perfumes, purses and every imaginable souvenir trinket and jewellery. The ship's minuscule "library" is woefully short of books. There were hundreds of passengers from France as well some from Quebec to share about 30 or so books their native language! The situation did not seem very hopeful for other languages, not even English. There were some nice hardcover books, most about COSTAs glory days, but these could not be loaned and read in one's cabin. So...bring your own books or iPad with previously downloaded books, etc. Being "nickeled and dimed" to death is a disagreeable, but seemingly inescapable feature of life on a cruise ship. However, thanks to these later-day buccaneers, a peak of sorts was reached by the offer to visit the ship's machinery, command deck, kitchens, etc. for a mere $69 per person (or $138 per couple)! Certainly something that should be offered for free to passengers who, after all, paid several thousand dollars each to be on board. A kitchen tour was later offered free, but for a "limited number" of passengers... The food was generally all right, but cannot be rated as outstanding for cruise ships. Some Canadian and British passengers told this writer they ate better on CARNIVAL cruises in the West Indies where such things as good smoked salmon and shrimps were always offered at buffets. A German passenger confided much the same from his recent cruise experience in other lines. Recollections of our own previous three-week cruise to the Tierra del Fuego on the COSTA ROMANTICA bears this out. It does not seem the chefs and their staff are unable to present a good fare; the root of the faults was that some of the "upper notch" ingredients were not as readily available, presumably because of budget restrictions. Thus the old adage that one eats better on a COSTA ship because of its Italian origin seems, sadly, no longer true. The ventures into French cuisine were disappointing. One night the menu proclaimed "confit de canard" which turned out to be a dentures-defying affair that also should have been served sliced; the "crepes Suzette" were, at our table, as good as thin cardboard; a cup of orange sorbet was strangely reminiscent of the "Tang" American powdered drink and the "Poire Helène" while made with decent ice cream, did not seem to have much in common with Chef Auguste Escoffier's inventive recipe. The writer did mention duck "confit" to the Matre D when asked how the food was. On the whole, the Italian dishes usually were the better ones on the COSTA FORTUNA, at least the for pasta dishes and the pizza was also always a good simple fare. The evening meals of the last three or four days were noticeably better... The wine list was not outstanding, but decent with, as expected, a varied offering of Italian wines. Regrettably, they were overpriced and certainly not in line with the recent price tumbles of many European wines due to market conditions and of the Euro's devaluation versus the dollar (US and Canadian). While the writer and his spouse were once active in wine societies, they are not addicted to overpriced wines and were quite happy to drink water instead, especially as the food did not usually create an overwhelming desire to order wine. Had the wine been more reasonably priced and the quality of the dishes proposed more predictable, we would have been pleased to spend our money. The COSTA training schools might devote more time to basic proper service of wine. One night, our most kindly, but obviously insufficiently trained waiters, brought half of a remaining bottle of white wine warm and, rather than put it in a bucket with ice, served it warm and left the bottle on the table. Needless to add that, after this, we did not order any more white wine. Another odd instance of insufficient instructions was that, at the beginning of the cruise, the writer (who does not mind paying for good coffee) was told that such thinks as espresso, cafe latte and cappuccino were not served at breakfast in the dining room...until the last day when it turned out that it was. Personally, this mishap was lamented as a great pity. There was a "Club Costa" supposedly superior restaurant on the COSTA FORTUNA. However, a hefty $33 charge per person was also levied. That, for four, comes to $132 (or about €100), which, from the wine and food performance experienced elsewhere on board, seemed like an overoptimistic bet. The writer went to see the premises, which apart from being on an upper deck and smaller, did not seem all that extraordinary; there was further doubts about the place having its own real "Cordon bleu" chef of repute, which seemed unlikely having tasted the general downgrading in the ship's kitchens. So we decided to invest the money in a good restaurant we know in Venice instead. A rather odd event was an unabashed "pitch" given at the final meeting. A good part of it concerned the COSTA comments form we were asked to fill out. This writer (who has attended French, American and British learning institutions and published widely in both languages) was interested to learn that there were great differences between the French and American meaning of the word "excellent". Francophones should know that the Americans bandied about "excellent" all the time, that the form was provided by COSTAs American owners so that the answer "excellent" was really what was meant by "very good". So Francophones should mark "excellent." Mmmmhhh... Further reasons given were that, after all, it was a wonderful cruise, the crew tried its hardest, the American owners were watching (but it was not mentioned that the Costa family had sold the line to the American Carnaval cruises and a British booking firm since the mid-1990s) and everyone loved us. For our part, the four of us were not especially well disposed after this unabashed pressuring. Neither great or bad: Entertainment was, in general correct, the best show being that put on by crew members. An odd and annoying practice was that performers (of "international" fame, naturally) were announced in the "Today" program, but what they would play or sing was almost never announced. One night, there was the exception of the "Trio Tango" who would play "Classics" so we expected classical music, but what they played instead were musical themes of various cinema classics such as "Love Story", "Casablanca", etc. It can be added that a lot of the entertainment was of rather loud "rock" music with "go-go" dancers and so on that was certainly "out of sinc" with the age of most passengers, the great majority seemingly in their 60s and 70s. This betrays a lack of considerate effort on the part of they who plan the entertainment, especially as the COSTA line has the age group data weeks if not months in advance through the bookings. One wonders why there was no cinema offered (as the writer recalls on an earlier three-week COSTA cruise). Indeed, it might have been much better and less expensive for the shipping company than some of the entertainment on this Atlantic crossing. One night, the four of us evoked just for fun the "classic" films that could have been presented and came up with about a dozen European and American films. The elevators are fast and efficient for the number of passengers therein. Well, most times except diner time. Positive points: First and foremost: the staff of the ship. They were seemingly mostly from the Philippines with a large contingent of Brazilians led by Italian managers. Ever smiling and cheerful, ever polite and trying to do what they could to ease the problems that faced many passengers on the COSTA FORTUNA. They were remarkably versed in languages generally being able to have a basic understanding of English, French, Italian and Portuguese. They obviously had undergone a rigorous training and generally applied it well, although diner service tended to be long and there was an instance when lunch took some 45 minutes to arrive in spite of having signaled that we had an early tour to catch -- we made it just in time, but it was a disagreeable experience. The staff's efforts and good cheer can only go so far by what are, by our observations, faults in various levels of management control and resolution processes. One must also praise remarkably patient staff putting up with some truly horrid passengers who seemed to think they were the world's navel. This reviewer recalls a disgraceful "dressing down" by a lean and bearded young man in a rage at an Italian staff member because the stern of deck 9 only had plastic cups and that he never drank out of those (a wise COSTA regulation to prevent broken glass on a deck with many barefooted bathers). Or the irate mature lady proclaiming that she was a "hostage" who was imposed a table, a menu, a dining hour, etc., and that she would therefore only be served in her room, which of course was declined in spite of great exclamations of dubious anger. Then there were the bullies who charged in elevators, stairways and doorways, practically knocking ladies down on their hurried ways; whoever they were, they were not gentlemen (or ladies in some cases). The COSTA line has something of a long-standing reputation for having consistently hired some of the best designers for the interior decoration of its ships. The COSTA FORTUNA is indeed a very tastefully appointed ship, the decorative themes being about early explorers and cruise ship travel from the 1930s. The buffet restaurant featured reproductions of a fine collection of early maps on wall panels and table tops, which are a delight and intriguing to examine. There are several fine models of some of COSTAs past ships such as the "Michelangelo" that used to do the Italy to New York run in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a joy just to walk about the ship. The COSTA FORTUNAs cabins are also quite nicely appointed; the decoration is very relaxed and yet quite thoughtfully set up. We had a balcony and certainly recommend it. The rooms seem practically sound proof from other cabins. The air-conditioning was not at all aggressive and "out of control" as on older COSTA and MSC ships, which was a great bonus. All in all, a very comfortable ship. Barmen were cheerful, knew their business and swiftly prepared good drinks. Naturally, there was a good offering of Italian wines (and the white ones were served chilled). Curiously, ten year or older Tawny Port was not on board (I would not recommend old vintage Port on a moving ship). Pity. Staff was invariably very helpful to solve minor problems. Our cabin's door sometimes jarred so that, at times, we wondered if we might not have to phone for help to get out. Our Stewart was advised and he quickly had it fixed. In conclusion One can't be too sure about what COSTAs policies are just now, but, from what was observed, a comprehensive management review of this firm by its owners would seem a good idea. At this point, the Italy-based management appears to be waging a desperate struggle to retain its independence from its owners. To show profits, it appears to cringe on some passenger benefits and also influence those same passengers to say everything is excellent. Which is, in this writer's view, rather dubious. Otherwise, apart from some most frustrating tours and rather odd food at times, it was a nice crossing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
After reading the majority of the reviews on this site, I was extremely concerned about what we were getting into. I really don't understand all the negative comments. From start to finish everything was flawless, no issues with ... Read More
After reading the majority of the reviews on this site, I was extremely concerned about what we were getting into. I really don't understand all the negative comments. From start to finish everything was flawless, no issues with either embarkation or debarkation. We arrived early to the ship to check-in so were in one of the first groups to check-in and get on the ship. Debarkation was also not a problem with about a 1 hour wait after having breakfast. The room was adequate with enough space to store our luggage and for us to move around. The bed was incredibly comfortable. The one odd thing is that irons are not allowed so you'd have to send out if you wanted your clothes pressed. There is only a generic bath gel in the cabin so bring you're own shampoo and conditioner if your particular. There is a mini-bar in cabin with enough room to store a few items. To ensure the best experience, be sure to sign up for one of the drink packages. J2 is the most expensive, running about $50 US per person, per day, however, this allowed us to order at will any drink up to $7 and not be concerned about racking up a big bar bill. This also then allows you to order from room service and have it delivered in cabin. Definitely spend the extra money for the balcony, it's worth it for the extra space. All of the staff was were super friendly and helpful. We had a chance to visit with both the wait staff in the dining room for dinner, as well as bar and casino staff. They were all amazing! All public areas were well kept and refreshing. Even the day at sea, when we strolled out mid-day we were able to find lounge chairs together. Meals in the dining rooms offered an excellent choice of options. The one area that could possibly use some improvement was the buffet if you decline to make your dinner time, as it was pretty much just pizza and salad the one day we chose this. Another upside is that this cruise is very much European travelers, so you have the international cultures to mix with. Options to get to from airport if you haven't signed up for the transportation with Costa you can also take a cab for the same price. If you want a cheaper option, select the ATVO which is bus transportation that runs non-stop into Piazzale Roma about 4 euros, and then take the People Mover 1 euro from there to the cruise terminal. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
I have recently returned from a wonderful cruise with my parents aboard Costa Fortuna. It was my first cruise but certainly will not be my last. I had read numerous reviews of Costa cruise line and the actual Costa Fortuna ship itself and ... Read More
I have recently returned from a wonderful cruise with my parents aboard Costa Fortuna. It was my first cruise but certainly will not be my last. I had read numerous reviews of Costa cruise line and the actual Costa Fortuna ship itself and was a little apprehensive due to negative comments on some reviews. I needn't have given it a second thought! Costa Fortuna is a very large ship and very well appointed - We thought is was beautiful! It was kept spotless by the very hard working staff aboard. Our cabin was very spacious and was kept clean and tidy by our lovely cabin steward (from Bali). The staff in the restaurants were all very friendly and efficient. Particularly our waiter (Carlo Castro) and assistant waiter (Emmanuel Perillo) in the MichaelAngelo restaurant - nothing was a trouble to them and they were always smiling. They made each meal a pleasure. The food was great - always plenty of choice (even for me as a vegetarian). The evening meal was up to 7 courses but none of the courses were huge so you left the restaurant pleasantly satisfied. The drinks are very expensive so its best to buy a 'package' if you are planning to drink wine with your meal. There were 2 'formal' evenings. Although most people were smartly dressed every evening, these 2 evenings, people were dressed more smartly - I didn't see any men dressed in dinner suit except the captain and officers prior to the captains cocktail party and welcome speech. In addition to the 2 'formal' evenings there was also an 'italian' evening which involved dancing around the restaurant! A very happy atmosphere! There is iced water available the whole day (except in the evening in the main restaurants). There is also ice cream, tea, coffee available for most of the day. Breakfast was lovely, a great choice with something for all tastes. Lunch was also varied and good quality. Afternoon tea had plenty of sandwiches, fruit and cakes. I didn't try the midnight buffet. The ports of call were all very nice - we were able to walk ashore everywhere except Santorini which required a tender trip. This was well organised and there were plenty of tenders available to get back on board. We didn't do any of the organised tours, preferring to do our own thing. We were 'at sea' for one day of the cruise (Saturday) as we sailed from Rhodes to Dubrovnik and, although the ship was obviously busier as all passengers and crew were on board, there were only short queues in the buffet restaurant during the day and we managed to find a nice place to sunbathe. People were 'claiming' sun loungers (as happens everywhere!!) but this tended to be more on deck 9/10 where the entertainment was located. I read some negative comments in previous reviews about the 'problem' of having to listen to announcements in 5 languages - we didn't find this an issue at all - on the contrary it was quite nice as it gave the ship a really international feel. The majority of passengers on this cruise were Italian, followed by a lot of Spanish speaking passengers. There were also German, French and Russian. Only a few British and American. The staff on board are very international - Peru, Phillipines, Indonesian, Brazilian, Honduras, India, China etc. I can honestly say that I didn't come across even one member of staff who was not friendly and helpful (which is more than I can say about a lot of British workers!!) The only issue for us was the embarkation procedure in Venice. It was not very organised and took almost 3 hours - had we known, we could have spent a couple of hours in Venice then boarded with one of the later groups. On that note, if you are on this cruise, make sure you don't miss the departure from (or the return to) Venice - its absolutely fantastic. All in all, I cannot fault the Costa Fortuna and enjoyed every minute of the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We were 2 couples traveling together for a 7 night Greek cruise. I have always wanted to visit Greece and after reviewing other cruise lines, I decided on Costa Fortuna. We arrived in Milan on Saturday, and had time to explore the city. ... Read More
We were 2 couples traveling together for a 7 night Greek cruise. I have always wanted to visit Greece and after reviewing other cruise lines, I decided on Costa Fortuna. We arrived in Milan on Saturday, and had time to explore the city. Monday morning we took a train to Venice, arriving around 10:30 am. Costa allowed us to check in our luggage before embarkation for 5 euros each. We then proceeded to take a tour of Venice.Embarkation was not well organized. Only 3 people checking in all of these passengers! We were given a form to fill out and I was given number 16. I was told this number would show up on the TV screen and we could begin embarkation. We ended up standing for about two hours because they were on #11 when we arrived at the terminal.The ship is very typical of the Carnival Cruise Line ships. So I was not impressed. Our luggage was already inside our cabin which was convenient. Our cards and all information was displayed on the bed.No complaints about the cleanliness of our cabin. It was always nice and tidy!My dining experience was not pleasing at all. The first day in the Michelangelo restaurant the menu didn't have anything that was appealing so I went with the Chef's suggestion. I got an extra large chicken Mcnugget with french fries. WE HAD TO PAY FOR OUR WATER! And the cheapest wine was 25 euros.Lido deck food was not very good either. Bread was always cold and hard. Breakfast was the same day after day. After 4:00 pm the only thing available was pizza!A food manager was very rude to the employees. He actually yelled, waved his arms in rage because the napkins needed to replenished and the rack for the cups was almost empty. I had to watch this as I tried to eat my food.As the days went on the menu got better. I really didn't like waiting for a long time in between the courses.Entertainment was just OK. There were some outstanding moments. Forget about dancing unless you like to waltz or line dance. We only saw 3 shows in the Rex Theatre. Nothing was that entertaining and it was hard to listen to explanations in 5 different languages.The ports was the reason I decided on this cruise. Could not afford the excursions that Costa provided so I did it on my own.Overall, I saw what I wanted to see. But I won't be using Costa Cruise Lines again. I didn't get my money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time. We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper ... Read More
We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time. We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper train and except for being delayed about 30 minutes and its kinda weird sleeping on the train it was a great way to travel. 9 May - Venice - Embarkation Day - We arrived in Venice at 5:30 am after a short sleep on the train. We find a pretty deserted train station with nothing open, not even the toilets. But just 30 minutes later everything opened and we dropped our bags at left luggage and explored the city as it was our first time in Venice. We explored the city for about 6 hours and really enjoyed it. We even experienced St. Marks's Square with no one in sight. We got a little lost in the city and somehow ended up by the port and saw the Fortuna for the first time. What a sight. We headed back to the station to retrieve our bags and drag them to the terminal as we did not have pre printed bag tags from Costa we could not drop them at the station. Venice has installed a People mover system from Piazzale Roma to the port which for a euro is great value and only takes a minute. Costa also provides a free shuttle from the bus stop in the same location. We arrived at the port and started walking to the check-in area where we were directed to the bag drop in a different building. As we arrived at about 12:30 this place was crazy and after getting tags and dropping our bags we were given number 14 and sent to the waiting area. Here we waited for about 45min to an hour and after a few passport and Security Checks we make it aboard and it feels great! After boarding we went straight to our room where our luggage was already waiting for us as well as our Costa card. We purchased the J2 package which is an all inclusive package. J2 includes all of your drinks up to €7 on the bar menu including cocktails, Wine and Beer. For us this was a great value. We had early seating and enjoyed a great meal. Our servers Marlon Bando (Not lying) and Billy "the kid" were amazing, after the first night we had a standing order of drinks waiting on the table and great service throughout. Costa now have a bunch of self serve credit card stations set up around ship so you can register your card for your onboard account. This is so much easier. They also have screens around the ship that let you book excursions, see how much you have spent and check your Costa Club info amongst other things. 10 May - Bari - We did Bari on our own and had a nice stroll around the city. Costa offer a shuttle bus (at €6 per person) but it's only about a 5 min walk to the city centre. Bari has a castle which looks pretty impressive on the outside but has nothing on the inside. I suggest you do not pay the €2 euro entry. After returning to the ship we had the life boat drill which is a real treat! 11 May - Katakolon - We have been to Katakolon before and really not much here so a trip to Olympus is in order. We ended up needing to tender due to the wind an Ibero ship was in port already so it must have just kicked up. We took a tender and joined the English tour to Olympus. After my previous ships tour on the Norwegian Jade I was a bit leery as it was horrible. I must say this was pretty good and we all really enjoyed it. As we were delayed arriving due to the weather and needing to tender we all arrived back at 5:30 which was all aboard. After waiting in a massive line for about 30 minutes we made it aboard the tender and onboard. 12 May - Santorni - We decided to go this one on our own and were really looking forward to it. However again due to the wind there was a real problem with the tenders. It took almost 3 hours for the tours to get off as it was unsafe. Once that happened we changed locations and for the next 3 hours they tried to get everyone else off stopping frequently. I was watching on deck and decided it was not worth the trouble to get off. It looked quite unsafe (I have video if anyone wants it) so we stayed aboard (Our tender number was called at 14:30 and with a back on board time of 17:30 it was not worth it and the seas were really choppy) and enjoyed a great day trying as many of the cocktails from the menu that we could. 13 May - Rhodes - This was also my second visit to Rhodes and I loved it. The old city is walking distance and well worth a visit we enjoyed a few drinks (Beer in a boot what more do you need) and walked around. There is some great shopping to be had and you can even haggle a little bit. There is Free Wi-Fi within the city and from the ship if you are lucky and the castle is well worth a visit if you have the time. You will notice cats everywhere. They are pretty friendly but I still would not get too close. There is also a decent duty free shop at the port. 14 May - Day at Sea - Quite a normal day at sea. A Kitchen tour was offered and it was pretty cool. It was lead by the English host who imho was not very good. She was very abrupt and kind of rude. She would not be my first choice for a host. We also visited the Casino and all played roulette and came out ahead. 15 May - Dubrovnik - This was a great port. Again due to the wind we had to dock a bit out if the city instead of tender. Costa provides a shuttle at €6 per person and whilst helpful I think it should have been free. A Visit to the wall is a must as is getting some KUNE as that is the only way you will see the wall. Whilst on the wall there are a few cafes that are reasonably priced and give you nice break from your stroll around the wall. Allow about 90 minutes for the walk and wear comfortable shoes. 16 May - Venice - Debarkation day We purchased the Costa Transfer to the airport for €20 per person. This also includes free left luggage at the terminal so you don't have to carry with you. We explored the city again and then returned for our transfer to the Airport. The Fortuna is a great ship that I think is just the right size. The biggest issue I saw is just how it is laid out there are several areas where there is just a bottle neck during busy times and as on 2 indoor public decks span the length of the ship you can get a bit turned around at first. I also wish that you could walk all the way around deck 3. If you enjoy your drink get the J2 and save a ton. The food was great in the MDR and the buffet was not too bad. Breakfast was a bit of a disappointment as I never got a fully coked omelette. Overall this was a great cruise. If you can deal with an international feel and being a minority onboard (English was the fifth or sixth language in all announcements) you will enjoy Costa, I can't wait to book my next Costa Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We booked this cruise last minute . Embarkation was a bit hit an miss as our flight had been delayed and as a consequence we got to the port 3 hours later than expected so we didn't get on board until 3.45pm. Once on board we went ... Read More
We booked this cruise last minute . Embarkation was a bit hit an miss as our flight had been delayed and as a consequence we got to the port 3 hours later than expected so we didn't get on board until 3.45pm. Once on board we went straight to our cabin , luggage already in the room and we where very happy with our I5 cabin . It had a huge queen sized double , two bedside cabinets , dressing table , mini bar and lots of wardrobe space . with a small table , chair and stool . The bathroom was fab , really big compared to our bathroom that we had in our aft balcony cabin on royal caribbean and much more modern .we where on deck 9 cabin 9243 . A great floor with the corridor leading us out past the lifts onto the main lido deck with the colombo buffet restaurant a 1 minute walk across the deck . There where not many cabins on our floor and at the other end of our corridor was a door that led out onto a huge balcony at the front of the ship OK it had no sunbeds but we found that it was very much like having our very own ...huge ..private balcony !! We where lucky to see 5 people a day venturing out onto it ! we just threw towels on the deck , got our pillows out of our room and had afternoon tea picnics there every day ! plus we could walk to and from the buffet with drinks etc without hiking up and down lifts .who needs to pay for a balcony then ? I loved the fact that your on board account was set up and ready to immediately use without any hassle . We just had to go to a machine within 48 hours of sailing swipe our debit cards and it was all linked up to our accounts . Dining arrangements where already done and dusted and Costa had put all English speaking people on our table which was a bonus as We cannot speak Italian of which Italians made up about 80% of cruisers , say 10 % Spanish and the rest Brits , Americans and Germans . The Italian people where quite good fun , really getting into the spirit of things , partying round the pool , getting involved with games etc and the clientele aged from 1 to 100 , a great mix of cruisers however I found that at really busy times the buffet could become chaotic because no one gets in a Que and on sailing days it might be better to get room service during the day rather than braving the buffet but we very quickly learnt what times to avoid when going to eat at busy periods.also there didn't seem to be much thought on board from cruisers towards disabled or elderly people it was at times every man for himself . I loved the ship . It was very flamboyantly decorated , small enough to get around easy and just big enough to get lost occasionally ! OK the announcements got a bit tedious in 6 languages but hey its all about safety of which the safety drill was completed 24 hours after sailing at approx 5pm on the harbour side at Bari . Now the food ...i thought it was excellent . The buffet was superb , breakfast extensive , pizza's and pasta amazing and i really could not fault the evening dining ! we where in Rafaello at the 9pm serving and we loved every minute . The service was superb . we purchased 2 wine packages one for 69 euro = 4 bottles of wine and 7 water then during the week there was a special offer of 2 bottles of house wine and two water for 19 euro . my partner drank the big 50cl weiss beer at 5 euro and i often went for the cocktail of the day 2 for 10/11 euro .I loved the 7 course dinner settings , all little portions with amazing choices , no starter , main and dessert stick in the mud British dining experience on this cruise ..my taste buds are still recovering . what i loved about Costa was we would finish our evening meal about 11pm and in the bars the waiters and stewards would be passing thru with fruit kebabs, chocolates , pastries on trays etc and on the two formal nights it was free champagne and once free cocktails . The captain strolled round the ship talking to cruisers he was very handsome and very easy going ! We didn't feel a bump all week the sea was like glass and the weather was fantastic ..All in all we got a bargain the only thing for us we cud remotely complain about was that tea, coffee and juice wasn't available all day , just at set times but there was always iced water available ...but afternoon tea between 4-5pm was wonderful , the cakes and little sandwiches where delicious ..they have a new patisserie chef and the cakes where fab ... All in all if the price was right i would cruise Costa tomorrow ....what a great week Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
What I liked:-Wonderful, friendly staff from many countries-Ship was beautifully decorated-Good entertainment program with heaps of different activities all day-Buffet restaurant had good quality food-Cabin was good value for moneyWhat I ... Read More
What I liked:-Wonderful, friendly staff from many countries-Ship was beautifully decorated-Good entertainment program with heaps of different activities all day-Buffet restaurant had good quality food-Cabin was good value for moneyWhat I didn't like:-Embarkation was slow, frustrating and poorly organised-Food in the main restaurants was very ordinary-Drinks were very expensive-Shore excursions were good, but expensive for what was included-Kids were allowed to run amok all over the ship with little supervision-Announcements in 6 languages gets annoying after a whileReview:This was my first cruise of more than a day or so and I didn't really know what to expect. Overall I was very impressed, glad that I did the cruise and would happily do it again tomorrow. I am an Australian living in Germany and I went with my partner (we are both mid 20s) and my parents (both about 60) who had come to Europe to visit me.I do, however, think there were a few things which could have been a lit better.Embarkation was very slow and frustrating. The information given to us beforehand on the port was not very detailed so we spent a bit of time walking around looking for where we were supposed to drop our bags and what we were supposed to do next. They give a number and say that you can board when the number is called. There were lots of people walking around trying to sell drinks packages but not many to answer questions amongst the confusion.We ended up sitting and waiting for about 3 or 4 hours until we could board. I couldn't see why they couldn't have just told us what time we were going to board when they sent the ticket by email a week earlier so that we could have been exploring Venice rather than sitting in their waiting area.Once we got on the ship we were very impressed. The decoration and elegance of the ship's interior was just wonderful.Our cabin was right down the bottom of the ship and on the inside, so nothing special, but that is what we'd paid for. I don't see the point of paying an extra 1000 euro or so for a balcony when I can just go upstairs and experience it that way. The balcony rooms looked very nice for those who are happy to pay double the cost. The cabin we had was comfortable and served our purposes well. Indeed, it was better than many hotels I have experienced.Dinner was also a little frustrating as we had to wait until 9:00, but I can understand why they do it this way. The restaurant was also wonderfully decorated and looked much more expensive than any restaurant I had ever been. The service was also wonderful; the two waiters we had for the week were fantastic. The food however, was nothing special. We got to choose about 7 courses and obviously some were better than others, but overall the food was not as good as the quality of the restaurant would suggest.I actually found the food in the buffet a lot better so we went up there to eat a few times. The only problem then is that the kids seem to have free run of the entire ship and it gets pretty frustrating to those of us without kids. They would push in line, run around everywhere in the restaurant, make as much noise as they like and often had little or no supervision from their parents. Of course this is not the fault of Costa, but it would be nice if they could ask the parents to take care of their kids rather than letting them annoy everyone else.Drinks were decent quality (other than the wine) but were very expensive. Looking at about 5 euro for a beer, 5 euro for a wine and about 7 or 8 for a cocktail. I guess it's not anymore expensive than a good bar on land. Technically you are not allowed to bring on any food or drink but we quickly discovered that in reality they don't actually check anything. We brought on softdrink, vodka, scotch and wine in our bags and they never stopped us despite seeing it clearly on the x-ray.The shore excursions were nicely organised but often only went for a few hours. With a group of 4 people, we would have been better off just organising stuff on our own (a taxi is cheaper with that many) but we didn't know in advance. Still, it was nice to have a few things organised for us.Being an Italian ship most of the people were Italian. However there were people from many countries and all the announcements were done in about 6 languages. This became really annoying but I guess there isn't really a better alternative.Overall I was really happy with the cruise and was quite disappointed to get off at the end. It was a great experience and I would happily do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2011
This trip was destined for doom the minute we stepped out of our vehicle at the port. We left out of Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation was quick, easy and smooth and the people were very nice. Would have liked to have their attitudes on the ... Read More
This trip was destined for doom the minute we stepped out of our vehicle at the port. We left out of Ft. Lauderdale. Embarkation was quick, easy and smooth and the people were very nice. Would have liked to have their attitudes on the ship. When we got on the ship we went and found our rooms and got refreshed before going exploring. There was a total of 26 of us. We booked through an internet travel agency that we've dealt with for the past 5 years and have never had problems. My family and I quickly discovered that half of us had early seating and half had late even though we have ALWAYS requested to have early seating dinner. So we quickly went to the dining room and at first was told by the rude maitre'd that there was nothing we could do and it wasn't there fault it was the travel agent. We phone our travel agent and he was actually able to email me through my phone the documents that showed EVERYONE in my party had early seating. I quickly took this back to the dining room and was told they couldn't fix it till tomorrow night after everyone had been seated and things had settled down. We said OK. Dinner that evening was very slow and the food not so good but we realize the first night out is always the craziest while the crew works to get passengers settled into their assigned seats. When we returned the next night to dinner we were told the same thing. They would fix it tomorrow. I said absolutely not and if they were not able to fix it tonight we'd sit where we wanted. We had 6 small children ranging in ages from 6 months to 9 years and there is no way they could possibly wait till 830 to eat. We werent expecting to be sat together but in several tables near each other. Needless to say the problem was NEVER resolved and we ended up being put at 5 or 6 tables around the dining room and just had to rotate each night so all could sit with each other at least once. The food was mediocre at best and one evening when my husband attempted to return his steak because he asked for it rare and it was brought to him medium well (and that's being generous) he was given the dirtiest look. The service itself was VERY slow and forget trying to get a coke, beer, wine, drink of any kind from the bar steward in the dining room. There was entertainment one night in the dining room and the waiters sang amazingly. The demographic throughout the ship was older European and some of the most rudest and offensive people I have ever seen. I have a problem with grown woman walking around topless on the ship around the pool when I have small children about. I'm pretty sure our group were the only Americans on the ship. Our cabin steward Mika was the absolute best cabin steward I've ever had from any cruise. He was the highlight for us. He was very gracious and always had the cutest towel animals ready for my little girl in her crib. She loved it! The crew at the purser's desk were as rude as the passengers. Several times we called to complain about the a/c in our room and nothing was ever done about it. The entertainment on the ship was mediocre. The best show was the elton john impersonator. The singers and dancers were ok. There was one female singer who couldn't carry a note to save a sinking battleship. We walked out on several of the shows. We made the cruise ourselves, because costa did nothing to help us have a memorable and wonderful cruise. Their definition of pepperoni pizza is "hot dog" on top of a cheese pizza. I have pictures for proof if anyone would like them. The food was horrible. Always cold. Portions were smaller than usual. No lobster. Very limited alcohol selection. Asked for a couple types of drinks and they had no idea what I spoke of. My family and I love our days at sea but we were actually looking forward to the days at port cause it meant we could escape the ship for a few hours. My bestfriend had plans to propose to his girlfriend and when he approached the cruise director to see if something could be planned he was rudely turned away. They did nothing and offered absolutely no help whatsoever. My family and I will NEVER again cruise costa cruise line again. We actually refer to our trip as sailing aboard the "caca fortuna" because that is what we felt. In our 30 years combined of cruising I've NEVER gotten off a ship without tipping. This time I did and I actually didn't feel bad about it. The only one whom received tips from us that I felt deserved it was our cabin steward Mika. NEVER AGAIN!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
This was our first cruise with Costa, and while we enjoyed many aspects of the Costa experience, will probably be our last.First, the positives:1. The itinerary was fabulous - every port was worth the stop and every excursion we booked ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Costa, and while we enjoyed many aspects of the Costa experience, will probably be our last.First, the positives:1. The itinerary was fabulous - every port was worth the stop and every excursion we booked through Costa was outstanding and worth the Euros. The port stays, except for Rhodes were short, so taking an excursion is, IMHO, the best way to experience the port. You don't need a tour in Dubrovnik as this is a beautiful, walkable city as well as Mykonos - no tour offered anyway as we were there at night.2. The stateroom was great - a very spacious and comfortable balcony room. No complaints with the room steward, etc. Wished they had more options on English speaking TV - but who cares about TV when you are cruising?!3. Costa did a great job in accommodating the 5 different languages on the ship. I thought that the entertainment, announcements, excursions, etc. were all cleverly handled to make everyone happy. The ship had about 3,100 passengers - probably 1/3 Italian; 1/4 German; and the rest evenly split between French, English speaking and Japanese. The English speakers had our own host, excursions, certain activities and were also grouped together in the dining room, etc.4. The interiors of the ship were great - especially the atrium area and the ceiling with the models of all the Costa ships hanging upside down (Poseidon Adventure?). The ship was clean and well kept.5. Embarkation in Venice was good - not great but not as bad as what we had read about in other reviews. About 1 hour from time of arrival at port (2:30) to being in our stateroom (3:30).6. And last but not least, the value of what we got for what we paid was outstanding.Now the negatives:1. The food. I am definitely not a picky eater, but the variety of food offered as well as its quality and tastiness was lacking. I don't know if it was my "American taste buds" that didn't like European food or if it was just the food but I would compare the quality to a chain restaurant in the US. The pizza in the buffet was good, but most of the time this was the only thing being served there, so we learned it is possible to have too much of a good thing. We also like cold soups and spicy dishes but found none of these the entire 7 days.2. In two ports, Dubrovnik and Mykonos, we were forced to dock at the commercial ports rather than anchor in the bay and tender in. Costa said that this was due to weather. Well, the days we were there the sea was glass, no wind and no rain, etc. Since they had to go to the commercial port we were forced to pay 6 Euro each to get bus transportation into the city. I have never had to pay for bus transport from the port to the city. This whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth - we felt like we were being nickled and dimed to death. Costa, please don't charge this fee - it's a cheap way to build customer loyalty and goodwill.3. The entertainment. While they did a great job accommodating all the languages and making it work, the quality and caliber of the entertainment was lacking. For instance, the acts and singers in the main showroom performed to canned music rather than a live show band. Some of the performers were sub-par.4. Our fellow passengers. We spent a week in Italy prior to sailing so we grew accustomed to the pushing, line cutting, smoking, etc. but still were flabbergasted at our fellow shipmates. We went with an open mind and knowing that we needed to adjust to different cultures and ways of doing things. In fact, this is one reason we booked the cruise - to broaden our experience and interact with those outside our "comfort zone". Still, we couldn't get over the rudeness and complete lack of consideration for others that many of the passengers exhibited. Examples: moving nonsmoking signs off of tables to adjacent tables and smoking at that table; slamming of balcony doors and LOUD talking at all hours of night/day; cutting in front of you in line waiting to embark/debark/eat at buffet, etc. etc.; pushing you from behind even when carrying food, etc.; talking at the top of their voice in the hallway outside your stateroom for long periods of time; knocking at your stateroom door and running away; kids swimming in the adult only pool and jacuzzis with parents' encouragement. I could go on, but you get the picture.5. Disembarkation. Having to vacate your room and wait in a predetermined lounge is a pain especially after having experienced NCL's system of being able to stay in your stateroom.Summary: A mixed bag. The bottom line is if you can tolerate the negatives, then the positives, especially the itinerary and the value may make this a cruise you should consider taking. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
When my mother booked a cruise on Costa Serena, I decided to try Costa first (having not sailed with them since the early 80's when they were Linea C) and for a short cruise on a similar vessel I choose Costa Fortuna in November, ... Read More
When my mother booked a cruise on Costa Serena, I decided to try Costa first (having not sailed with them since the early 80's when they were Linea C) and for a short cruise on a similar vessel I choose Costa Fortuna in November, around Italy. I boarded Costa Fortuna in Venice after a wonderful weekend in La Serenissima. Be whatever weather, in whatever month, Venice is this unusual city full of magic and enchantment. There are not many places in this world where one can sail past the city centre and some of its most famous sights. And what a wonder that is. The city without cars or buses (apart from a small area around the port) is very easy to walk about and to get to know. Even to get lost is wonderful in Venice. Getting to the port could not be easier, with not only shuttle buses but also the modern people mover. 1. Embarkation Although it was my first time in Venice, I easily found my way to the passenger terminal. Embarkation was made it even easier by leaving my luggage at the train station (Santa Lucia) where a dedicated service (and with the ship's name clearly visible), on the platform side, collects the luggage and delivers it on board for 5 Euros per piece. Costa had mentioned it on the ticket and I decided to try and I felt it was worth every penny. The terminal itself occupies part of what used to be a long warehouse. There is another one housed on a new building but much smaller and I felt it was only for transit passengers. The terminal is large and air conditioned and there are escalators and lifts between the floors. The duty free shop looks just like an old fashioned newsagent but was quite popular with pax. As I had deposited my luggage at the station I was automatically given the number 3 for embarkation. Arrived at the terminal around 13:00 and my number was immediately called. After security and X-ray (online check-in highly recommended) it was a short walk on an external passage towards the ship, in which we boarded directly on Deck 3 2. Cabin I had a single inside cabin on deck nine. Costa gave me a handicapped person's cabin although not needed on my case. It was clear from the beginning that, if a person specifically needed that cabin I would be moved but the ship was not full and I got all that extra space (biggest bathroom I ever had on a ship). It was nicely located near the lifts and the swimming pool and fairly quiet. Only problem was that it was near an automatic door which could be heard on the cabin each time it moved but got used to that. There was ample storage space. Suitcases fit comfortably under the bed or on the corner of the cabin (a good deal of empty space, which is understandable when one needs to maneuver a wheelchair). The safe opens and locks with any magnetic strip card. The bathroom had a shower with shower gel and soap provided. Towels were changed throughout the day if required and the cabin stewardess made a variety of towel animals during our stay. She was a lovely, hard-working Brazilian, who was always nearby. She was polite, attentive and very good in keeping the cabin very clean. 3. Lounges The ship follows the lay-out of the Costa Magica. Deck 1 and 2 are mainly dedicated to cabins. Deck three has the reception, the excursions office, the lower level entrance to the theatre, the atrium bar, the two main dining rooms and their kitchen. Deck four has the upper levels of both dining rooms, the chapel, the library, the lower level of the disco and the internet point. Deck five, the main deck of activities after hours, had the upper level entrance to the theatre, the shops, the main bar (which took the whole width of the ship), an odd broad corridor without much use, the casino, the upper level of the disco, a piano bar (always playing some nice classical music), a ballroom (hardily used here as it was hardily used on Serena) and another lounge with nice stern views. The decoration theme was the Italian transatlantic ships of the past and some rooms made an effort to link to their namesake somehow. But most crew (and some passengers) had no idea of what the names of the public spaces meant. Most rooms were decorated in tones of blue, yellow, red and cream which gave it a vibrant kind of feeling without being over the top. One can say it was a jolly decoration. 4.Food and Drink • Breakfast - room service is only free for breakfast and includes cappuccino / espresso coffee which has a charge in the restaurant. There is a menu or buffet in the Michelangelo restaurant on deck 3 (and at the lower entrance there is a huge, original model of the Michelangelo of the Italian Line, worth looking at) plus the extended buffet on deck 9. In the Michelangelo restaurant there are huge windows at the back which provide a superb view of the ship's wake. • Lunch - There are two lunch options from waiter service in the restaurant (Michelangelo deck 3), to an extensive buffet in the Cristoforo Colombo buffet (where there is also a nice model of the famous sister to the Andrea Doria). I tended to eat in the restaurant at lunch, as the buffet looked like it was quite busy (been November pax tend to remain mostly inside rather than at the pool) and was really impressed how they changed the hours to ensure passengers could still eat on board when port stops hit the lunch hour. Menu offered four options for starters, two for soups, four for pasta, four for main course and four for dessert. There was also salads, etc • Afternoon tea - served 4-5 in the Cristoforo Colombo buffet, little sandwiches and cakes. The cakes looked nice and colorful but all tasted more or less the same and none were impressive. Herbal teas, regular tea, coffee and iced water are always available but at tea time they also offered specialty teas (mainly from China) which was served at a service point by a chef who seemed to know his tea well. • Evening meal - I had a table at first sitting (18:30) in the Rafaello restaurant situated in the middle of the ship which was odd as we the closest to my cabin. There was always a basket of freshly baked bread rolls and bread sticks on the table when we arrived. The menus were in the language requested (choices between German, English, French and Italian) with the Italian name above it if you wanted to order in Italian instead. The evening menu consisted of 6 courses, starter, soup, pasta / risotto, main course, cheese and dessert. There was a reasonable choice and the food was consistently good. I opted for the mineral water package and that was good enough for the whole cruise. Also tried some of the wines and they were good and well priced.Waiters were helpful and professional throughout and nothing was too much trouble. Alternatively the pizzeria (at the Cristoforo Colombo buffet) offers waiter service from 9pm - 1am, with buffet pizza available early evening, but the pizzas were nothing remarkable. • Midnight buffet - There were several midnight buffets during the cruise but I was usually tucked in bed by then. I did make it to one with the vegetable and fruit carvings and the ice sculptures were phenomenal. Throughout the day there was a point in each swimming pool serving hamburgers, french fries, etc + Extra-tariff restaurant - Costa has on some ships (specially the new ones) a restaurant which charges around 20 Euros for a special menu. The one on Costa Fortuna is called Club Conte Grande and although above the buffet, on deck 11, it had a classy atmosphere and it was fairly quiet. Very generous portions and some exquisite dishes made the extra paid worthy. Service was excellent as well. It was a pity that it was quite empty as it was one of the best restaurants I found ever on board a ship 5. Daily programme The grand bar on deck 5 was a main area for activities such as tournaments, games, dance classes, stretching classes and dancing, etc. The Pan Disco on deck 5 was the main location for the children Art and Craft sessions which were offered am and pm. There were Italian classes and some other choices a bit more culturally challenging. There were also seminars in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian about the ports and the ship, but mainly to try to sell the excursions. On warmer weather most activities tend to concentrate around the pool but it was nice to have so much 'live' on the lounges during the day. The cruise director was a Brazilian that could speak seven languages but gave the impression he was new to the job, but still professional and attentive. 6. Pools There were two main outdoor pools on deck 9 each with 2 Jacuzzis (for 16 years and above). The pools closer to the stern had a retractable roof. There is also an outside pool and a swirly slide on deck 11. The Spa has an adult only jacuzzi. The Spa itself was not too big and mainly dedicated to massage treatments, etc. The saunas were really nice, with beautiful sea view and separated for men and women. All very clean and well kept.The saunas were free of charge 7. Evening entertainment The Rex Theatre is on decks 3, 4 and 5 at the front of the ship. The invited entertainment was good but I found them inferior to the ones on MSC. In addition, every bar and lounge had musicians and singers entertaining everyone, including easy listening in the piano bar, ballroom music in the Conte di Savoia Bar and disco music in the Vulcania Disco. With about six venues for musical entertainment in the evening there was certainly something for everyone. However the piano player at the Club Conte Grande restaurant was not good. 8. Excursions I only did one Costa excursion (in Corfu) and did the rest of the ports independently. The guide was enthusiastic and spoke from the moment we boarded the coach giving us information about Corfu and the local area before we got to the Achilleon Palace (the reason why I went on an excursion as it is far away from the old city centre). Unfortunately the weather was not very helpful and rained the whole time we were at the Palace so it was difficult to visit the gardens, but it was worthy. 9 Ports Bari : ships berth very close to the city centre and there was time enough to visit the old castle, the cathedral and the basilica of Saint Nicholas (yeap, of Christmas legend) which is also much visited by Orthodox pilgrims (the relics of the saint where stolen from what was then the Byzantine Empire and brought to Bari many centuries ago). All within walking distance. Worth observing the berthing maneuver at Bari as the ships nowadays are quite large and the port is quite small. Nice, modern terminal. Corfu : Ships berths a bit away from the old city centre. Other pax said that it was walking distance but I had already chosen the excursion. Lovely to see it sail as it passes in front of the city and then goes around the south of the island giving an idea of its geography La Valleta : Ship berths really close to the centre o La Valleta, the capital of Malta. Within a short distance there is the Cathedral (where one can admire an excellent Caravaggio) and the Master of the Knights Palace (now used by the government but containing a large museum) as the island belonged for a long time to the order of St John. Again an interesting port to observe the berthing maneuvers. Naples : Despite the garbage collectors strike and all that one hears about the Camorra, etc, Naples was a nice surprise. The ship berths at the old terminal (much modernized nowadays but externally still looking as it did on the 1940's) and few meters away from the old castle as well as the Royal Palace. Naples is huge so the short stop there was not sufficient to visit its museums properly but I was quite content with the Royal Palace and the castle. It is a lovely bay with Vesuvius constantly on the background. Worth getting up early to see the ship pass by Capri, that magical island, on the way to Naples. 11. Disembarkation I was told to be at the Grand Bar at 09:15 and exactly at that time we were called to disembark. Savona has a terminal built by Costa and it is a modern wonder, full of natural light and very efficient. From the terminal got a taxi to the station (there is a free shuttle but runs only every half hour) where I caught a train for Genoa ( about 30 minutes away) and later a bus for the airport. 12. Final impressions The Costa Fortuna is a nice, happy ship. We had some winds and a bit of rough seas a couple of days and you would hardly know as it felt so smooth. It is decorated with a old passenger ships theme and the models of all past ships from Costa, till the Fortuna, hanging upside down on deck 5 and used as part of the illumination. Glass lifts allow to appreciate the large mural, covering four decks which pays homage to those ships. It was very easy to find your bearings on the ship. I found the cabin corridors very wide and spacious. The staff were all polite and friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be working for Costa. It is also a very green ship and recycles most of its waste on board. Would I go on Costa Fortuna again? Yes, without hesitation. The ship had a good atmosphere, was always on time, the meals were sometimes like gigantic parties, with waiters singing and dancing, and all in good taste. Costa Fortuna was good fortune in November Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
A brief review. Costa Fortuna from Venice - Grecian spendour 26th October - (but it rained most days!!) Went on this with an open mind. Left delighted and would definitely book Costa again. If you like an English feel to your ... Read More
A brief review. Costa Fortuna from Venice - Grecian spendour 26th October - (but it rained most days!!) Went on this with an open mind. Left delighted and would definitely book Costa again. If you like an English feel to your holiday and to be with mostly englsh speaking people this is probably not the cruise for you. Pre-cruise concerns were: Smoking: - I hate smoking, but hardly noticed this. Pushing & Shoving - Only as would be expected when we're all desperate to get out hands on that lovely food. Didn't experience any problems. Languages - Announcements were few and far between, so never a problem. Only one which went on a bit was when they were calling you to muster - avoid being in your cabin as it takes about half an hour to get through all the languages, and it's a bit tedious when you're at the lifeboat stations, but small price to pay. All entertainment multi lingual and seeing most singing etc is in english we do pretty well out of it all. Most shows was singing and dancing. I was in awe of the entertainment staff who could speak so many languages and it made it fun. Nationalities - mostly french, then italitan, spanish and english speaking. As we were a family of 7 we didn't need to rely on socialising so no prob, and liked the contenintal feel of it as did our children who enjoyed trying to speak to children of other nationalities. We had a table to ourselves, but initially we were split up and my parents were sharing with some Hungarians who didn't speak english, so could be tricky if you like to socialise at dinner time. Food - Excellent, a lot of fish and pasta but that suited us. Drinks, etc. We purchased X1 packaged which was good value as the kids soft drinks are close to 3Euro each. Paid up front so we didn't think about it and only spent 1 Euro on our onboard account! X1 worked well as the hours are pretty flexible and there weren't many hours in the day that we couldn't get a drink! All in all we were very pleased with the cruise and would go Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
I had high expectations with Costa cruise lines and was a little disappointed. Costa is a luxury cruise lines with the Europeans, not Americans. It doesn't compare to Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. The ship was VERY warm...all ... Read More
I had high expectations with Costa cruise lines and was a little disappointed. Costa is a luxury cruise lines with the Europeans, not Americans. It doesn't compare to Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. The ship was VERY warm...all temperatures are strictly controlled so it was a bit uncomfortable. Dining area, lounges, and casino were all warm and nothing could be done. Smokey in most public areas. Cruise line doesn't control children in the adult pool area as there were many children in the pool. It was not very relaxing as everything was rushed and it was like herding cattle everywhere. Long wait in the disembarkation area with no where to sit. One day at sea was chaotic in food areas: long lines, no where to sit and eat and lido deck outside was very congested. Length of stay in ports of call were very limited. Time on the beautiful islands of Santorini and Mykonos were limited also. Mykonos was in the evening so you couldn't even take in the beauty of the island. Staff was just OK; not real attentive. We had to remind and ask our cabin steward for several things plus we barely saw him. I didn't have these experiences on other cruise lines. Dining staff forgot things and I had to remind them every night to bring me my bottle of wine. The food was nothing impressive and I thought menu selections were limited. Cabin rooms were OK and fairly comfortable and quiet. Formal nights on ship weren't very formal so don't waste your money purchasing nice attire! Europeans were very casual for the two formal dinners. Plan to spend a lot of money too just for bottled water! For the money, I'll stick with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean next time! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Just returned from Eastern Med Cruise from Venice. Two hours waiting in embarkation hall, then an unceremonious departure, despite leaving beautiful Venice. Our fellow passengers need a lesson in courtesy on board, i.e. allowing people ... Read More
Just returned from Eastern Med Cruise from Venice. Two hours waiting in embarkation hall, then an unceremonious departure, despite leaving beautiful Venice. Our fellow passengers need a lesson in courtesy on board, i.e. allowing people out of the lift instead of charging in, and waiting patiently in queues. Smoking in non-smoking areas really annoying - couldn't go in Casino. All areas except theatre and restaurants were very smoky during evenings. Why is it necessary to have plastic cups in buffet restaurant? - recommend taking your own mugs with you. All dining areas seemed overcrowded - waiters worked so hard to keep up with service demand. Only 5 hours stop at best ports, Dubvrovnic, Santorini, Mykonos (night time)therefore no time to see anything once you have queued up for a tender ship. There is a cable car in Dubrovnic which is 200 meters from old town gates - make sure you have credit card or local currency as they would not take Euros.We are told views from the top are wonderful! Good points, all staff very courteous, good standard of food and entertainment, especially Trio Los Paraguayos - great music! If you choose this cruise ship, make sure you take midships cabin, we had sleepless nights at the front of ship with severe vibration and wave noise when sea even slightly rough. Will stick to the British Cruise experience from now on. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Just got back from cruise to Greek Islands from Venice on Costa Fortuna. My first time with Costa Cruises, have been on 15 cruises before with various companies - some big and some small. The embarkation was awful, hundreds of people ... Read More
Just got back from cruise to Greek Islands from Venice on Costa Fortuna. My first time with Costa Cruises, have been on 15 cruises before with various companies - some big and some small. The embarkation was awful, hundreds of people waiting to get on and NO ORGANISATION WHATSOEVER, not a good start. Lovely ship, lovely cabin and very good itinerary BUT the food on the ship was so disappointing. The food on a ship is part of the cruise experience but the food on this ship will only be remembered for the wrong reasons. The quality of the meat was very poor, not your usual steaks and lobster etc., just cheap cuts of meat and lots of chicken all very chewy with the exception of the Gala dinner when we had a reasonable steak but it was a very small portion. One night I didn't like any of the main courses offered and settled for an 'alternative' of steak and chips, it was what we buy in the supermarkets, the cheapest steak possible to buy, usually sold as quick fry steak with a few chips literally chucked on a plate, no garnish or salad etc., one of the ladies on my table had salmon every night because she couldn't eat the meat and they even run out of that on the Saturday. The 'salad bar' was the most boring salad bar I have ever seen- salad leaves from a plastic bag thrown into a bowl, a few sliced onions, radishes, carrots and unbelievably for an italian ship NO TOMATOES!! NO DRESSINGS and when you did order a salad in the restaurant at night with your meal there was so little dressing you couldn't taste it, my american companions on my table reckoned it had been watered down. In the buffet there were so many people and so many queues and when you got your food it was impossible to find a table- we ended up one day sitting on a sun lounger trying to balance and eat our lunch. In the buffet they had a carvery and one day instead of meat it was a whole boiled octopus- the whole buffet stunk of it! I usually went down to the restaurant for lunch to avoid the bun fight in the buffet and on the last day the only choice for meat was lamb curry! OK if you like curry but I dont and on a cruise in the mediterranean who would want to eat curry! At lunchtime in the restaurant there was only one meat choice take it or leave it!! This is an italian ship and the english speaking guests were way outnumbered by the italians who got preference every time, first off on the tenders, excursions, shuttles etc., and although it wasnt school holiday week in the UK it must have been in Italy because there were so many italian children on board and they have even less manners than their parents. I complained to the english speaking hostess on the last day about the only choice being curry and no seats in the buffet and she said because it was the last day she couldnt do anything about it had I gone to her on the first day then she could, I doubt if she could have changed the standard of the food!! She didn't want to know and I have since coming home sent my complaint to Costa who so far after one week have only received an automatic reply and still awaiting for their comments. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
My partner & I did the Eastern Med on Costa Fortuna at the end of September. The boarding procedure was excellent and our luggage arrived at our cabin quickly. Initial impressions were very good, this ship is MASSIVE but it was ... Read More
My partner & I did the Eastern Med on Costa Fortuna at the end of September. The boarding procedure was excellent and our luggage arrived at our cabin quickly. Initial impressions were very good, this ship is MASSIVE but it was spotlessly clean and very well decorated. The Michelangelo Restaurant for our evening meals was great - good quality food and our waitress (Michelle) was excellent. All the staff on board were brilliant, very attentive and efficient and always pleasant to talk to. We had purchased the X1 drinks package beforehand and the white wine we had with our dinners was lovely until the last night when they had run out of it and gave us a really unpleasant replacement, but up to then it was great. We did a few excursions and they were all brilliantly organised and worth the expense. In Santorini it was a nightmare trying to get on the cable car to get back down to the port as there were 3 ships in the bay whose passengers were all trying to get down at the same time. We had to queue in blazing sun for over 45 minutes, so if you do go ashore or do the Oia excursion like we did, go straight to the cable car to avoid the queues . . . . . . At 4.30am on our first night we were woke up by the most horrendous noise under our cabin floor. It was extremely loud banging and creaking like heavy metal being heaved against the ceiling below us. As our floor was shaking with each bang this was really scary so we rang customer service who said they would send someone. About 20 minutes later a man arrived (and of course the noise had stopped by then) and said he would go below and see what it was. He did not come back. About 6.30am it started again, again we called Customer Service and they sent a man to listen but it took so long for him to arrive that he didn't hear it either. A few minutes later another man arrived and wandered off. He returned about an hour later and said he didn't know what it was and for us to call as soon as we heard it again as they would need to send someone a.s.a.p. to hear it so they could find out what it was. This noise disturbed us on and off throughout the week at all hours of the day and night, every time we called no one arrived for at least 20 minutes, if at all so nothing was done about it. At one time about 6 of our neighbours were all out in the corridor and we discovered everyone had been reporting it but no one had received an answer as to the cause of it. As we were approaching Venice on our last day it was really bad so I called again and a customer service lady told me that it was from outside the ship as we were approaching the port. This did not explain why our floor was shaking with each clanging bang from underneath. I have recorded the noise and will upload the sound to you tube along with this review. The other complaints I have about the Costa Fortuna are; 1) Smoking There was nowhere to go apart from the theatre shows, restaurant or buffet to get away from cigarette smoke. We went all the bars, but did not stay in any as the smoke was so awful. The casino was the worst place for this; we tried to get in there straight after our early sitting dinner, because as soon as the second sitting came out of the restaurants your eyes would literally water from the smoke, so we had to escape to our cabin. I was really surprised by this as the main hazard at sea is from fire - I thought they would have allocated smoking areas but each bar just had a few tables with a no smoking sign on and the Italians ignored them anyway. 2) TV The only English channel on the cabin TV was the BBC world news (not good for seven nights!) 3) Expensive Cash wise, it was a total rip-off - everything was vastly overpriced and poor value for money (a Bacardi & coke was 7.30€ +15% service charge so 8.10€ in total!) 4) Overcrowded If we had known just how many people (3,400) were on this cruise, we probably would not have booked it. When we were at sea the whole ship was heaving with people! We were jostled, elbowed, shoved and pushed along main corridors, especially in narrow walkways such as outside the shops. It was impossible to find a table for lunch in the buffet as it was completely full by about 12.30. We swapped to the restaurant for the last couple of days - the food was better and we got a seat! 5) Entertainment The daytime entertainment on deck was all in Italian. It was like a continental 1960's hi-di-hi holiday camp complete on one day with a 'Mr Sexy Legs' competition! Not what we had expected at all! We will not be cruising with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
I'll split my comments in a few subjects in order to make it easier for the reader to get what was OK and what wasn't. Good things first. The waiters serving our table during the dinners, Paulo and Mario, were just fantastic. ... Read More
I'll split my comments in a few subjects in order to make it easier for the reader to get what was OK and what wasn't. Good things first. The waiters serving our table during the dinners, Paulo and Mario, were just fantastic. They were quite fast, solicit, kind and always prone to help. We were in a table with people from Portugal, and since our native language is supposed to be Portuguese they really tried to speak it - with some success, I must say. Itinerary was another good thing about the cruise. The cities selected for visiting were really awesome, despite spending more time in Santorini and Katakolon would be required. The Portuguese speaking hostess, Fabiana, did all she could for making our stay more comfortable. Since we were a small group she managed to disembark us fairly quickly so we could get the most out of the cities' tours. She also provided us with tips and tricks for visiting the cities without being bothered by the huge tourists groups, what gave us more time to appreciate what Greece had to offer - even because excursions were extremely expensive and not recommended by people that already did it in previous cruises. Now, the not-so-good things. Life on board was kind of complicated... Not every crew member spoke English, so we had some difficulties communicating for buying tickets. Costa was supposed to sell tickets for the bus to take us from the Mikonos Port to Little Venice, the selling happening at the Excursions Desk OR at the bar in Deck 5. We went to Deck 5 but as the waiters didn't speak good English it took us about ½ an hour to finally get the tickets. We tried to communicate with different waiters and attendants, but it was in vain. A lousy waiter kept speaking Spanish with me even after I told her I don't speak any Spanish (despite I can understand it fairly well, so I got the names she's called me). Food is really lousy, cheap, and the menu is not varied at all. I've read several reviews in this website already addressing this issue, but I think it's important to emphasize it again so the readers can make their own statistics on the subject. Meat was cheap and not available. Fruits were not available, something that I and my wife really missed in the 50ºC summer of Greece. Most Italian passengers were really impolite - crowding lifts without need; they don't really talk to each other, they shout; taking food with their (almost always) unwashed hands (really disgusting!); and absolutely not respecting any line. Crew, attendants and waiters didn't do anything to avoid this, even though they've seen it many times. Notice that I do love Italian people (even have relatives in Milan), but I was really scared seeing so many disgusting attitudes like the ones I've described. Oh, sleeping was a problem as well, since the cabin was quite noisy. I kept waking up the whole night long for trying to find the vibration points and put some folded paper between the parts. At the end, I was beaten since the more points I located, the more appeared! I've put over 15 pieces of paper on day 1, and found about 20 other pieces of paper put by other people. I guess someone is still struggling to sleep in cabin 2172! Last but not least - and that's really important if you're still thinking to go to Greece in this ship - life onboard was really, really boring! I've read in Costa's general review that one of their main differentials is the entertainment. This is a lie! In fact the ship has several pubs and bars, but most of them have no attractions during most of the time. Those that have something have the same shows every day. There are no simultaneous attractions in their repertoire as well - if you don't want to make your own "gala roses", you'd better have a set of cards to play, or a good book to read, since swimming pools are always crowded (and usually dirty) and the Casino is really a joke! I've written all of this to the Cruise Manager, to the Entertainment Manager and to the Portuguese Speaking Hostess in a formal letter, but got no answer at all. Therefore, I must suppose they are happy with the current status and, according to the reviews I've read in this website not much has changed! For me, this really shows Costa doesn't care at all for the passenger's opinion and that's one of the reasons why I won't ever get a Costa Cruise again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2010
Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal. Then we started reading the reviews ... Read More
Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal. Then we started reading the reviews which made us wonder if we had booked the wrong holiday - however, we both take holidays as they come and make the best of anything so we went with an open mind. Embarking in Venice we were on board in no time and soon located our cabin, which was immaculate, spacious and well laid out, it was bigger than we expected and didn't feel cramped at all (have stayed in smaller hotel rooms!). There was plenty of wardrobe and cupboard space, with a bathroom more than adequate. If we needed anything, our cabin steward Emerico would sort it for us, he was always smiling and polite and the room was constantly cleaned with fresh towels twice a day. The ship itself was immaculate. It is lavishly decorated and always clean. Bars and tables always clean and cleared away promptly, the staff worked incredibly hard to maintain the standard. We couldn't fault this ship and its staff at all, and Melissa, who was the English speaking host was always very helpful. The food on board was readily available and the selection was amazing. There was something for everyone and we couldn't fault it at all. One late night we popped up to get a snack and there was fresh pizza, pasta, cakes and fruit, more than enough for anyone! The chefs and waiters all worked hard and were always cheerful and smiling, it seems that nothing is too much trouble for these hard workers. Announcements were made in lots of different languages, bearing in mind it was an Italian ship and the majority of travellers were Italian, Spanish, French, German with a handful of English & American. We were told that anything relevant to us would be in English - simple! As a first cruise, we couldn't fault this at all - our theory is if you go with an open mind then you wont be disappointed, and we were certainly not disappointed. We have now decided that cruising is something we will definitely be doing again! We booked quite a few excursions and had heard it was chaos trying to get off ship - NOT the case at all. It was well organised and easy. We stopped at Bari & Katakolon and did our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Well, just got back from our very first cruise, and I hope my review helps any first timers, any questions I will gladly try to answer. I was sceptical to be honest the reviews were not great for the fortuna, and I had read lots about the ... Read More
Well, just got back from our very first cruise, and I hope my review helps any first timers, any questions I will gladly try to answer. I was sceptical to be honest the reviews were not great for the fortuna, and I had read lots about the food not being good, and pushing and shoving when it came to getting on and off the ship. So here goes: We were at the very front 7202, cabin was fine, bit noisy as there was a generator coming on and off during the night, but no big deal. . Food was brilliant, (we are not fussy eaters though) not sure why the Americans thought it was not up to their standard, you would have to be pretty fussy not to find something you liked!! . The X1 package is great, saved us loads of money and I tipped our waiter on the first night and he brought us a bottle of wine each, every night. Venice, Dubrovnik, Rhodes, Mykonos - all fantastic. Bari great for shopping, Katakolon - not keen, we thought the beach was more like a dirt track and cars and motor bikes sped along the beach behind you while you were sitting there. didn't make Santorini as was ill, but friends told us the cable car situation was terrible and not worth all the hassle, but I believe when you do get to the top it is stunning. . Organisation we thought was fantastic, how Costa manage to feed 3,500 people all day and night is beyond me and keep them entertained and get them on and off the boat, brilliant. . Staff mostly Filipino were fantastic, worked very hard and tried to please you. . Tipping - Well its 14 euros per day (couple) up to you if you want to tip extra, we did, we tipped both our waiters on the first and last night, but no one else on our table did. .Entertainment was about average, some nights excellent, some not so good, they did there best to suit all the nationalities .We did not pay for any excursions, we did it all ourselves, and were very pleased at how easy it was, we dont feel we missed out on anything. .The ship itself is fantastic the art work and design is great - truly awesome. .The negatives - The adult only pool was always full of children with no Costa staff attempting to remove them. However, this did not really bother us, but it did bother a lot of people. .Sun beds are very close to each other, a bit too close for comfort if you know what I mean!! . Avoid the obvious meal times - either go early or late, there is still plenty available and you will then not clash with the hoards of people all trying at the same time to eat!! .Remember it is an Italian cruise ship so 80% of the clientele are Italian, mostly families,(if thats an issue don't book it!)they are not bothered about queueing, and sorry to say, showed no manners and lack of respect to some of the more elderly customers that we had chatted to. . Great first cruise, really enjoyed our holiday, but I did miss my chilled beach holiday, so prob a couple of years until book another cruise. . Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
First time cruising with 2 teenagers 17 and 18. Staff were excellent and courteous at all times. We all enjoyed the food and the family were able to try various exotic dishes that I will possibly never cook! We didn't understand ... Read More
First time cruising with 2 teenagers 17 and 18. Staff were excellent and courteous at all times. We all enjoyed the food and the family were able to try various exotic dishes that I will possibly never cook! We didn't understand what was going on with all the selling of drinks packages when we first ventured out for some refreshments. We were bewildered at first because we understood it to be all inclusive. We ended up buying 3 packages because we thought no drinks of any kind were included and we knew we couldn't go all week without fizzy drinks for the family and coffee for me. Actually you could get basic drinks anytime you wanted but we didn't realise that when we were being pestered for the drinks packages. Also there are 2 packages for coffee so you can't just order whatever coffee you want unless it is in your package. We were mystified during the first day and it was very expensive and as others have said the price they quote is not what you pay because there is a hidden service charge as well as the daily added service charge which for 4 of us was shockingly expensive. My son left his quality shorts (£25.00) very loosely wrapped in a towel in the room after showering and they were removed by the maid and never seen again. We tried hard to get them back but no luck. I'm afraid the cruise was too Italian for me, I felt rather isolated. I like to have a bit of a chat with fellow guests but hardly found any English to speak to. I also didn't really like all the congratulating of the staff at the disembarkation meeting. Members of the staff were paraded on stage and they bowed and we clapped and they clapped and we were told how hard they worked etc. I don't really want to know the ins and outs of their work schedules -most of us work really hard and this was my holiday and somehow it seemed a bit Dysneyfied!! 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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