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Sail Date: July 2009
We sailed the Fortuna through Italy, Greece and Croatia in July 2009. We're a young, professional couple with a fair amount of independent travel experience. This was our first cruise, and we decided to try it out to get a more ... Read More
We sailed the Fortuna through Italy, Greece and Croatia in July 2009. We're a young, professional couple with a fair amount of independent travel experience. This was our first cruise, and we decided to try it out to get a more relaxing travel experience for our honeymoon! We had a great time, and it gave us a chance to sample some really cool ports - some of which we definitely want to return to and spend more time someday! This is really a cruise to take 1)for the amazing ports and 2)for the relaxation. If you're looking for extravagance on the ship - wild food displays and constant activities - I get the feeling an American cruise line in the Caribbean will be better suited for you. SHIP INFO: Since it was my first cruise, I didn't know what to expect. I was happy with the amenities, the cleanliness, etc, etc. Plenty of different bars and lounges with great service, a casino, a disco, a duty free shop, a few different pools, a spa, etc etc. There were over 3000 passengers on board, but it really never felt crowded, which was nice. The cruise was 90% Italians and Spaniards, with a handful of Germans, Portuguese, Japanese, Australians, Americans, etc, etc. Just a few hundred English-speakers overall, but a VERY welcoming English-speaking hostess, excursions in English, and a staff that is 100% fluent in English and very accommodating. STATEROOM: We has a B1 veranda cabin, on the starboard (right) side near the front of the ship. The room was clean and more spacious than I imagined. We slept like babies every night since it was quiet, the ship was fairly stable, and the bed was very comfortable. I can't imagine not having the balcony. We spent lots of time out there reading, watching the sea, or just having a glass of wine at night. In most ports, our side of the boat had the best views, which was a plus. NOTE: there are no alarm clocks, so bring your own! We forgot ours, so used our room service breakfast as a wake-up call (which was free). Also, TV options are limited - just ship programming and a few news channels. DINING: There are two main restaurants on board - everyone gets assigned to one of them, either early seating at 7pm or late at 9:15pm. We were assigned late seating, and our table mates were another American couple on their honeymoon. Every night you could select an appetizer, a soup, a pasta course, an entree, a salad/cheese course, and a dessert. Most people got most courses, so you will NEVER go hungry. I am a vegetarian, and usually had one option for each course, which luckily turned out to be something pretty good every night. My husband went the other direction and tried lots of things he'd never had before (or doesn't have often) - rabbit, duckling, veal, etc, etc. We were always happy with our meals, though only a few dishes to really write home about. There were two gala nights, where most people dressed up, but you could still feel comfortable in khakis/button-up or a simple dress. There was also an Italian Night, which was a lot of fun. For breakfast, we often went with room service, having coffee, juice, yogurt and pastries delivered to our cabin. Room service is free for breakfast, and it was a relaxing way to start the day. It was always on time and enough to get us started. A few days we hit the buffet, which was a full spread - eggs, bacon, ham, hashbrowns, pancakes, oatmeal, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereals, omlettes-to-order, and probably a ton of stuff I'm forgetting. Satisfying for the European or American palate. For lunch, we always hit the buffet. There was the sit-down option, but we didn't want the fuss. The buffet had plenty of choices - usually lots of seafood (prawn, mussels, etc), some pasta, pizza, salad, meat entrees, desserts and ice cream. We left stuffed everyday. When it wasn't an official meal time, there was almost always pizza available, including late night. You could also get water, coffee and juice from the buffet. There was also an afternoon tea time with desserts and finger sandwiches. We booked the X1 drinks package in advance to get unlimited beer, wine, mineral water, and soda during lunch and dinner hours. The first night at dinner, we showed our card, ordered red wine, mineral water, and a beer for my husband, and from there on they just brought it all out right away (though they checked to make sure that's still what we wanted). They always brought a bottle of wine, which sometimes we'd take to the cabin to finish. Since we had late seating, sometimes we'd stop by the buffet around 7pm for a small salad and a beer, which was no problem. We used the package for soda, mineral water, and the occasional beer at lunch. It was convenient and definitely saved us money. Highly recommended! They DO enforce the hours. Only during lunch and dinner, so plan accordingly! Regular drink prices on board are not cheap - not completely unreasonable, but NOT cheap - so it adds up fast. ACTIVITIES: When we were on the ship, we really just wanted to relax, so never took part in the activities. There was "SuperBINGO", exercise classes/yoga, some arts and crafts, a few theme night parties, but we preferred just to read on our deck, nap after the day in port, or have a drink in one of the lounges. There was a kid's club on board, and we often saw the teens doing group activities in lounges or early evening in the disco. ENTERTAINMENT: There were daily shows in the theater, running before 2nd seating and after 1st seating. We peeked our heads in occasionally - there was a magician, an acrobatic team, and a few musical revues (all stuff that works across languages). The performers were all talented, and the theater always had a good crowd, but we only watched tidbits since this kind of thing is not really "up our alley". SERVICE: The service on board was absolutely stellar. The ship had ample staff in all areas, who were always quick and friendly in whatever they did. Room service was always prompt, the cabin was well-kept, the waiters were courteous and accurate... excellent service all around. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: First, this is a great itinerary. Each stop was a little different, which gave a good mix of history, culture, natural beauty, architecture, foods, and of course shopping. You'll end up wishing you had a whole week in each and every port. (...though you do have enough time in each to get a good feel for it. I was a little worried they'd be too brief, but I almost always felt like we could fit in our "must sees" without a time crunch.) Bari was first, and we took the excursion to Matera since Bari itself doesn't seem to have much going on. Matera was a fascinating place to see, and the excursion was very well organized. A nice bus ride through the countryside, and a good guide. Recommended. In Olympia, we decided to save money by renting a car and driving to the ruins. We booked in advance, but many Europeans just got off the ship and rented on the spot. It was a fairly simple route, but potentially harrowing if you're not used to driving in places with "loose" speeding and passing customs. The historic site and museum are both worth seeing. The site has the larger ruins and the museum has the more detailed statues and relics. If you don't have a tour guide, get a guide book of some sort so you know what you're looking at! Santorini was the most frustrating port. We thought we'd do it on our own, making our way to Oia and back via bus or taxi, but the night before, we found out that the tenders would be taking excursion passengers off for about two hours before non-excursion passengers could get off. There's no quicker way to do it I guess, but it still SEVERELY limits your time on the island. We decided at the last minute (ie: 6:45am) to just jump on an excursion so we'd have more time. I'm glad we did, despite the cost. We saw more of the island, and actually got to learn a little from the great local guide. If you really want to see Santorini, I URGE you to just book an excursion. This is the one port where I think it matters, and it is a beautiful place to see. Mykonos, Rhodes, and Dubrovnik were all great do-it-yourself ports. Even though Mykonos and Dubrovnik were tenders, we still had plenty of time to wander around and see the sights. Rhodes gives you plenty of time, so you can see the old city, and also walk over to the beach for a while (there is a HUGE public beach with umbrellas and chairs a short walk from port). Again for Rhodes - if you don't have a tour guide, get a book on the sites so you know what you're looking at! Overall, Rhodes, Dubrovnik, and Santorini were my favorite ports, just for their unique character and beauty. HOTEL/TRAVEL INFO: We did not have a hotel on the first day, as we went straight from the airport to the ship. We had a connecting flight through Paris, and gave ourselves a long layover to reduce the chance of anything going wrong there. We arrived in Venice at 2:15pm and were thinking of taking the city bus or a taxi to port, but found a Costa desk at the airport and decided to just pay the 20E for their shuttle. After traveling, it was nice to have something so convenient! Got us quickly and easily straight to the ship, and was comparable to the cost of a taxi. After disembarkation, we spent one night at Hotel Abbazia, near the Venice train station. It was a beautiful converted monastery with an outdoor garden, clean rooms, and an OK price (for Venice). It was very convenient since we could easily walk there from the ship after disembarkation (15 mins), then from the hotel to Piazzale Roma for the ATVO bus in the morning (5 mins). We caught the first ATVO airport bus at 5am, and had no problem making our 6:55am flight. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Embarkation was by far the worst aspect of the whole cruise. We spent nearly two hours in the cruise terminal waiting for them to check our passports and let us on board. It was organized - everyone was assigned to a numbered group - but the operation was SEVERELY understaffed. They had maybe 4 poor workers trying to check all of us in. They were all efficient and friendly, but just too understaffed to get us on board in a timely manner. When we finally got to our room, our luggage, cruise cards, and the fruit basket/wine we ordered were all nicely waiting... it just took forever! Disembarking was much easier. We were hoping to just self-disembark, carrying our own luggage, but it seems they really don't want you to do this, and you still have to disembark at the time you're assigned to, so it really would not have benefited us. We put our luggage out around 1am the night before, woke up, had breakfast in the buffet, and were off the ship by about 9:30. It was all very smooth, and groups were getting called ahead of schedule. We easily found our bags and walked from the port to our hotel, with plenty of time to explore Venice that day. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We were booked for the Taste of Health, Holistic Holiday at Sea which is a vegan/sugar free group. My husband and I are vegetarians and thought that being with this group would be a great experience. Here we were wrong. The food with this ... Read More
We were booked for the Taste of Health, Holistic Holiday at Sea which is a vegan/sugar free group. My husband and I are vegetarians and thought that being with this group would be a great experience. Here we were wrong. The food with this group was not what we had expected and there we were sadly disappointed. (they served miso soup for breakfast, seriously) Once we realized that we could order from the regular menu we were quite happy with the food. The service was great. The waiters work very hard to ensure that you are happy and are ready to entertain you. Italian night was great fun in the dining room with the staff performing during dessert. Toga night was a blast. My husband had a costume toga and I used a bedsheet which was left for us in the room with an instruction sheet. Our cabin was comfortable and always neat and clean. Our cabin steward, "Gusti" was very nice and polite. All of the crew that we encountered were polite and ready with a smile. No towel animals, but Gusti made us welcome with chocolates one night, cookies another night, etc. We had read some reviews that said the ship was not easy to get around and we didn't find that it was difficult at all. Ship maps were all over the place, including right outside our room door. Just pick where you need to go and go straight to that elevator bank from your cabin deck. The only decks that you can't go all the way through are 3 & 4. Just go up or down a deck and walk straight through. When in doubt, check the map. Going to port was always pretty simple as we didn't go during the rush. One tip is to go to the Rex Theater where they sell bottle water to take ashore for $2.00. We also grabbed some fruit from the buffet to take ashore so we wouldn't have to spend money for food. (We saw some clever ladies making sandwiches from the breads, cheeses and deli slices from the buffet before wrapping them in napkins and shoving them into their bags. Great idea, next cruise I go on I will have an insulated lunch bag packed with me for situations just like this. why pay for food ashore when you've paid for food already onboard ship) The only complaint I had about this entire cruise was being an American on a ship full of Europeans. The announcements were in 5 languages, Italian and English were usually first. It seemed as if Europeans have no concept of personal space so expect people to bump into you or just shove their way through the buffet without the slightest "excuse me". While some of the Europeans were delightful, most of them were rude, pushy and selfish. (I had this wonderful woman from Ohio, see me in distress over the rudeness and she just made life better with her kindness...thank you. You brought a smile to my face every time I saw you and I can't thank you enough) On the days at sea, get up early and find a chair in the sun. If you wait until 10am to go looking for a chair, you'll be out of luck as people go up to the sun deck and save chairs for the rest of the family. We found tons of chairs that just had a spread towel and not one person near it, but if you try to sit down, you'll get yelled at in italian by the people holding the chairs. This was frustrating and made us VERY thankful to have our private balcony to enjoy the sun and surf and relax. Just a note about the balcony doors. Our balcony door didn't seem to close securely unless you slammed it and locked it. Sometimes this made the wind whistle through the door, which can hinder sleeping. (I wear earplugs anyway, so I wasn't bothered in the least) Overall, having the balcony was worth a little whistle every now and then. Overall we had a great time. The ports were wonderful and we had a lovely anniversary cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
As a way of introduction, this was not our first cruise, although our other cruises were on another line, so some of what we saw was in comparison to our prior experience. This cruise was a little different in that Holistic Holiday at ... Read More
As a way of introduction, this was not our first cruise, although our other cruises were on another line, so some of what we saw was in comparison to our prior experience. This cruise was a little different in that Holistic Holiday at Sea (a vegan group) was doing a special week and they took up about 900 spots on the cruise. They had their own dining (early seating - Michelangelo Dining Room) and were quite busy with lectures and presentations throughout the cruise. Two members of our party were with this group. Wife and I were doing our own thing. Embarkation - Dropped off folks at the pier while I turned in the rental car. It was a bit of a challenge even with a GPS since construction blocked some streets. Ended up going though the airport to turn around and followed a taxi down a closed street to drop our car at Thrifty. Checked in at suites line and were just told to make our way to check-in desk. There was some crowding and cutting in in the line. The suites line at in-processing was longer than regular line. We did have a very nice cabin, though. Spacious, soothing colors and plenty of storage. There were even two sinks in our bathroom and a jacuzzi tub. The fruit bowl was changed every day, instead of just pulling out overripe pieces and adding items. Dining - Since there was no coffee maker in the room, we always requested morning coffee from our butler and he was always timely. We tried breakfast in the main dining room once and lunch once. We were not impressed with the service or the food. After that it was the buffet or lunch on shore. We had dinner the first two nights in the main dining room. The servers were good, but we were not thrilled with the food at all. A "rib-eye" steak turned out more like swiss steak (with sauce). One of our suite perks was a free dinner in the Club Conte Grande, a Tuscan Steakhouse aft on deck 11, which is normally an ala-carte restaurant (priced per item instead of one price for entire dinner like other lines). We got reservations there for two nights to start with (Tuesday and Friday) along with our tablemates. We liked it so much that first night that all four of us got a standing reservation for the rest of the week, other than the final (toga) night. We decided that the extra cost was worth it. Jeffry (the host/maitre-d' up there) was exceptional. He should go far with the line. The piano player was great. We were even able to get a time (7:30) that was much more relaxing than our original late seating, even though it prevented us from seeing most of the shows. It was only crowded on one night. We were all amazed that so many of the other passengers (even those in suites) hadn't found this jewel. The decks were set up fairly well. After an initial orientation period we were able to navigate our way around the ship with no problems. The atrium was fantastic with glass elevators rising about 6 decks. The bar there served a great coffee drink called a chocolate mochaccino that captivated my wife after she discovered it. Key West - The ship docked at Navy Dock which required that we take a shuttle trolly to town. The line was not set up very well. We noticed crew members cutting their way in line to get on the shuttle. There was an unconfirmed rumor that passengers came to blows because of cutting. Tours on Grand Cayman and Roatan were booked on our own. We rented a car on Cozumel to drive around the island which is another story by itself. Disembarkation - We had booked a tour of the Everglades along with transfer to the airport. Getting off the ship was no problem. We even managed to find our suitcases (one had lost its tag and was in a separate location), but then came the customs/immigration line. It was SLOW. Once we made it to our bus we had to wait over an hour for the last folks to make it. I suspect that some of the slowness was caused by the sheer number of non-US citizens. Our tour guide mentioned that it is only going to get worse when the new BIG ships start using the port, since they are not hiring extra agents. The tour was very good and entertaining and we made it to the airport in a timely fashion to pick up our rental car to continue our vacation. All in all, while we may not cruise Costa again (unless we find a really good place to visit with great rates), any week at sea beats a week at work. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
As my title says, my wife and I went on this cruise because I won a contest. I would have never picked Costa on our own. I have met no one on any of the 15 cruises I have gone on that has sailed on Costa, which to me says a lot. ... Read More
As my title says, my wife and I went on this cruise because I won a contest. I would have never picked Costa on our own. I have met no one on any of the 15 cruises I have gone on that has sailed on Costa, which to me says a lot. Embarkation - this was one of the best parts of the cruise. This was the first and last line that went quickly. We were on the ship within 15 minutes of arrival. Ship and Cabin - what a waste of a beautiful ship! The ship was well laid out and the balcony cabin was nice and large. Everything was clean. Service Staff - the first thing that was strange was that our cabin keys were in our stateroom. I have never had that happen before. We have always had our picture taken before we boarded the ship, I assume for security reasons. The door to our cabin was left open and the keys were on the bed. We were travelling with a co-worker and in his cabin was a basket of fruit. Our cabin had none, which was strange, because we both won the trip and were suppose to receive the same benefits. I contacted our cabin steward and he said he had no idea why they received a basket. We were not marked to receive one. We also did not get our dining assignments like my co-worker did. Our cabin steward said he never received them and that I had to go see the dining room steward for it. Why should I have had to get them, as they were in every other person in our groups cabins (there were 75 winners). Dining - the service in the main dining room was the slowest I have had in many cruises. As a matter of fact, it was the slowest of any we had been on, except for my first Carnival cruise years ago. We had late seating and most of the tables in our area were not even half full. There was no excuse for that. The food in the main dining room was not very good, at least for American tastes. I realize this is "Cruising Italian Style," but the only the pasta and a few seafood dishes were good. The beef dishes were very poorly done. If I had been cruising our of Europe than I could accept the menu to be more for European tastes, but this cruise was out of the good U S of A. The buffet food was ok at times. The pizza was good and the fresh made pasta was very good. They had specialty days, such as Mexican and that was the worst excuse for Mexican food I have every had. I could not believe how bad some of the dishes were. The hamburgers were good. Fellow Cruisers - As noted in reviewers before, the Americans on the ship were outnumbered. Many of the Europeans were rude, demanding and smoked everywhere. It made for a few uncomfortable moments. Ports of Call - San Juan would have been nice, if it had not been raining. St. Thomas is always my wive's favorite for shopping, as we have been there and seen the sights before. La Romana is nice, but take a tour or stay on the ship, as there is nothing to do otherwise. Grand Turk, what can I say, enjoy your day at the beach or go shopping at the overpriced on shore (I am sure Carnival owned)shops. Entertainment - we went to a couple of shows and were not impressed. They flew some comedian/impersonator in that was suppose to be famous because he had an HBO special. He was a nice guy, but not really that funny. The casino kept my wife busy most of the time, as the machines were a little looser than on previous cruises. Disembarkation - it went smooth and we were off the ship at the designated time. To sum up this cruise, the food was not really good, the service was slow, a great deal of our fellow passengers were rude. I guess what should I expect for free. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
Just got back from an enjoyable time aboard the Costa Fortuna. Before you read too deeply into this mostly favorable review keep in mind I'm still dwelling on the positives of a bingo jackpot win and a wife who managed to accomplish ... Read More
Just got back from an enjoyable time aboard the Costa Fortuna. Before you read too deeply into this mostly favorable review keep in mind I'm still dwelling on the positives of a bingo jackpot win and a wife who managed to accomplish her two goals on the ship: sleeping and reading two books. I also thoroughly enjoyed the music of John Ciotta who sung a lot of great Italian songs, both traditional and American. Just wish they could have brought him back for another show. The Him and Me "physical comedy" show was great fun as well and the Fortuna singers and dancers did a great job as well. This was my 18th cruise, and I think the 7th for my 6-year-old. I've sailed Costa three previous times, twice on the Mediterranea and once on the Atlantica. And that's a good place to start in terms of comparisons. Probably my biggest complaint about the Fortuna was the layout. I'm still puzzled how naval architects can design a ship that doesn't let you walk all the way from the front to the back on almost every deck. That was the case on the Atlantica, the Mediterranea and the Carnival Liberty. You can fault me for not having my ship map with me at all times but I was not the only one spending a confusing few days at sea trying to navigate decks 3, 4, and 5 trying to find the right way to get to the dining room. The passengers on board were predominantly Italian, German, French and Americans along with a smattering of Canadians and Brits. Smoking should be banned in ALL areas of the ship, apparently the show lounge and dining rooms are off limits to smokers. This ship did seem more crowded in terms of deck space. Pool chairs were gone quickly on days at sea. Either people were leaving blue towels on them or they were gone and the towels remained. It's a constant issue on cruise ships (as well as at mid-priced land-based resorts) and I don't have the answer to combat it. Ports of call included Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Roatan. And I do have some good advice for those ports. Don't bother buying a ship's tour for Key West. Take the free shuttle into town or walk if you're at the pier closer to Mallory Square. Key West is a destination that's better stayed in than visited because at the end of the day it's all about the characters, not the t-shirt shops or restaurants. At Grand Cayman you'll tender ashore. We did the stingray tour and bought our tickets at the port area. Got quite a deal, despite some confusion about what time the tour actually departed. We bargained and paid $60 for two adults and two kids. The "bargain" got us an overcrowded bus (with my nephew left to stand and my son perched on my lap) and an overcrowded boat ride out to Stingray City. I'm hoping there were ample lifevests on board. I'm betting that after a serious mishap there will be questions asked these tour operators. Nothing bad happened to us, and we had an enjoyable day, despite chilly water temperatures and choppy seas. In Cozumel we did the beach thing. We bought our tickets on board and got our own cab (roughly $20) to Playa Mia.) And in Roatan we also did the beach thing. That was a really, really nice day at a great beach resort that featured a separate area that had nurse sharks, sea turtles and other assorted ocean life. The beach was clean, the water was clear, and apart from loud music from a singer belting out his rendition of Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffet songs it was a really relaxing day. Interestingly enough at this resort construction is underway on a new pier that I'm told will be used by the Carnival family of ships. It's a great location for a pier and will skip the rather tatty and somewhat impoverished looking "downtown" area which also has a new cruise dock and fairly nice shops. Food on board the Fortuna was good. Service in the dining room was sporadic. Not sure there was ever a night in which our table got coffee served promptly. But waitstaff was certainly cordial and clearly they worked very, very hard. A little something extra would make them very happy at the end of your cruise. The waitstaff also had a number of great songs and dances during the course of our week at sea. Only other weird thing about the Fortuna was the dining hours. During days at sea many people got turned away from the main dining rooms because breakfast ended at 9:30. We showed up at 9:27 and clearly they weren't happy to see us. It was also odd not having a dining option at about 6:30 in the evening if we decided to skip the dining room. The buffet didn't open til about 8:00 which meant our plan to eat first and then catch the early show in the lounge wasn't going to work. (I know, I know. Pay attention to the hours listed in the on-board schedule.) But you'd think a casual dining option might be available! Disembarkation was a mess, not because of the Fortuna, but because our nation seems to have cut back on immigration inspectors and there was quite a bottleneck getting off the ship. One more thing. Forget about getting peace and quiet on the Deck 10 near the pool. Loud thumping dance music is going all the time for dance classes or workouts. My kid, nephew, mother-in-law and wife all had a great time. We didn't get seasick, food-poisoning or sunburnt. We didn't pay a lot so we really can't complaining about anything. Not sure I'd rush back to the Fortuna but had no serious complaints. Would definitely return to another Costa ship because we truly had a lot of fun! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
We've cruised several times in the past. Costa Fortuna is the most unorganized cruised we've ever experience. We completed all the required on their website (when the site is not crashing) and when we checked in, the ... Read More
We've cruised several times in the past. Costa Fortuna is the most unorganized cruised we've ever experience. We completed all the required on their website (when the site is not crashing) and when we checked in, the information is not there. My husband also registered as a Costa Club member and this was not reflected either. Dinner seating - we requested first seating at the Michelangelo restaurant. We received confirmation that we did get this request. When we got to our cabin, we were booked for the second seating at the Rafaello restaurant. Tipping - we've asked to not automatically include the tip on our bill. We've always done this since we want to give the tip directly to the people serving us. This will ensure that the person will actually get the money. Customer service confirmed that they did this. At the end of the cruise, the charge was there. We had to line up at the day of disembarkation to get our bill corrected! Credit on our accounts - my husband and I both have a credit of $63.00 (fuel charge) each when we arrived. Because we only used my husband's Costa card during our stay, they don't want to apply my credit to the final bill. Result, my husband got the extra charges and Costa is suppose to send me a cheque for my $63.00 - how illogical is this? By the way, I still don't have the cheque. Tour Office - couldn't not even give us tips on which beach is the best in the port of calls. They are useless unless you book a trip with them. With other cruise ships, the tour office gives you tip or what to do, where to go if you are going on your own and what to avoid. For our Nassau stop, we booked a trip with them and 10 minutes later wanted to cancel it. Nope - they don't take cancellations! Shopping Tips - they recommend stores in each of the ports. The stores that they recommend are not necessarily the best price stores - but the stores who are willing to pay them fees for sending passengers over. Customer service staff - do not know the first thing about customer service. I'm not sure if it is a culture difference or what, but we found them very rude. When they make a mistake, they are so fast in pointing a finger to the person on staff who made a mistake instead of acting as one company and working on resolving the mistake for the passenger. Cruise Director - he needs new jokes. He was the cruise director when we sailed with Costa Atlantica 3 years ago and he is still using the same jokes! I will never recommend Costa Fortuna to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
We drove from Georgia to Florida the day prior and overnighted in Fort Pierce, about an hour and a half from Ft Lauderdale. Arrived at the pier by 10:30 am, unloaded our luggage and parked in the parking garage next to the pier. Very Easy. ... Read More
We drove from Georgia to Florida the day prior and overnighted in Fort Pierce, about an hour and a half from Ft Lauderdale. Arrived at the pier by 10:30 am, unloaded our luggage and parked in the parking garage next to the pier. Very Easy. After check-in we waited until 11:45 to begin boarding. This was our second cruise on Costa. We sailed the Mediterranea last March and enjoyed the european atmosphere. We have sailed on 18 cruises: Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America,and Celebrity. While I can say we have never had a bad cruise experience, Carnival is my least favorite and Holland America my most favorite. Royal Caribbean is great with all the kids and grandkids. We sailed with two other couples on the first week and just my husband and myself on the second week. So we explored late night fun the first week and rest and relaxation on the second. We had two different staterooms, the first was a balcony cabin at the very back of the ship the second was an oceanview forward. We found good things about both. The balcony aft was enjoyable while sailing, watching the ship's wake from here late at night is so peaceful. One drawback is while in port if the wind is blowing the soot toward the back of the ship it does fall onto your deck and deck chairs so beware. The other drawback is vibration, we had two days of rough seas in the beginning and experienced alot of vibration at the back of the ship during this time. Our other cabin was convenient to the elevators and on a lower level. Both cabin stewards were attentive and did a great job in maintaining our cabins. Since we were a group of six in the dining room we all sat together and had the best waiter and assistant, Patrick the waiter and Greg his assistant. Patrick's suggestions were right on and they both were very attentive. Our second week we requested a table for two and had very good service again. However, when at a table for two it seems you wait a little longer to order and between courses because the waiters take the orders in groups, I think. But we always had water or other beverages replaced frequently at both tables. The Italian night festivities in the dining room are great fun. Don't miss them. A word about the buffet, the design of this area causes a jam up of people. You need to navigate around it by utilizing the other areas where the buffet is placed. However, if you like PASTA, you will not go hungry. At lunch there are at least three different pasta dishes offered on the Lido, along with a hot meat carved to order and Pizza of course. You'll find the cookies served at tea time,3:45pm in the Lido. The dining room meals for dinner offered nice selections and good desserts. Costa does offer a children's program but there are other cruise lines better suited for families with kids. The international blend of passengers may not be enjoyable for children sighting communication differences. I must comment on the passenger participation onboard Costa ships, I have never seen so much passenger participation in the activities held on board. We never laughed so hard as we did on the oldies night. Great Time!! Just a word about the Ship's design, deck 5 is the only deck you can walk from front to back inside. Unless, you walk a cabin deck, like deck 6 or 7 through. We also liked the tiered top decks for lounging. We never had a problem finding a deck chair up on deck 11 or 12. In addition, the Fortuna offers many areas of piano and other music. These were very comfortable and we enjoyed them each evening. While a Costa cruise is not for everyone, it is all in what you make it. Each line has its niche and Costa offers a European experience close by. Listening to all the various languages is a part of the experience. We enjoy cruising Italian Style!!! and will do so again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
Hi...The only reason why the cruise was interesting is that you get the chance to visit many Easter Caribbean Islands: Puerto Rico(one afternoon only), Turks and Caicos (one afternoon only), Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic ( one ... Read More
Hi...The only reason why the cruise was interesting is that you get the chance to visit many Easter Caribbean Islands: Puerto Rico(one afternoon only), Turks and Caicos (one afternoon only), Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic ( one day at the beach only , not more), The Virgin Islands (one of the best because of the activities offered in the island).Make sure you check the time you have to visit each island. Remember to book any activities from the local tourist businesses, it is cheaper and offer more choice. If you book it from the cruise it is more expensive, and if you are seek, they will not give you your money back unless you present them with a doctor's note from the ship that will cost you $75. The room service is perfect, most of the worker on the ship are from the Philippines and they are very friendly. The breakfast is fine, you have a large choice of items. But the lunch and dinner are disgusting, the food has no taste and people were complaining about it. The ambiance is very European, most of the people are from Italy. There are very snob and not open. You won't make friends with them. The only people that are friendly are the Americans and any one from any other part of the World. Everybody speaks Italian and you feel lost. I will say that they are racist, one of them even complain that Italy was invaded by too many foreigners, they don't want anyone to visit their country, and Italy is not the same anymore, all that in a table full of foreigners. They are not even respectful towards the crew member of the ship, they treat the Filipinos like they were nothing, and rarely will they say or thank them when they are served. I even caught one of them yelling at a crew member because there was no room with a wide screen to watch a football game? He could have watched it from his room! The dress code is very fashion, do not wear your sneakers, short and ts on the boat, unless you go on an excursion. For women, bring nice summer dresses or outfits and two nice evening gowns. For men: bring one or two suits. If you don't you will feel ridiculous. If you are from an ethnic group, do not go on the costa cruise. Because they think you don't fit, and plus they will ask why you go on a cruise when it is something that is not typical of your ethnic group. You will hear all type of stupid questions. Plus Italian can not stand that America and Americans are number one! They are jealous. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
The cruise was selected due to our busy schedules and the itinerary contained destinations we have never seen. The price of the cruise was very reasonable. Embarkation was unique. No long lines to wait for paperwork and boarding ... Read More
The cruise was selected due to our busy schedules and the itinerary contained destinations we have never seen. The price of the cruise was very reasonable. Embarkation was unique. No long lines to wait for paperwork and boarding card. This was a definite plus. Ship is beautiful. Lots to admire and easy to get around. Deck 5 gives you access across the entire length of the ship. Smoking conditions were well managed. Food was mixed. If you often eat at the buffet as I do, expect warm not hot, possible leftovers, a plethora of pasta and pizza a plenty. Water and coffee were the only free drinks. Iced tea costs the same as soda. Desserts were few in number and were not tasty at all. Food service folks were mixed from friendly to "Why are you bothering me today?" On the other hand, I need to recognize Abraham and Frolien from the Bar Service and Darwin from Food Service as being exceptional and setting a benchmark which other Fortuna employees should try to meet. Cabin was a bit tight but adequate. No towel animals which is a definite minus for a cruise ship. Steward was attentive and precise in following requests. Laundry service was on time and the work was good. Not overpriced as other lines. Entertainment was mediocre with lots of room for improvement. Opening night with Victoria Horne was a bust. The Fortuna Dancers were great but only performed twice. Their stage was on the small side and they had their limitations. The mime Lemoine was superb as was Duo Alton, the girl acrobat and the man stunt bicycle rider. Other than the dancers, each performer was on stage only once. I think they lost the opportunity to have combined performances and follow up performances in other venues. Each show ended with the obligatory pep talk from the Cruise Director Max was interesting. His language skills were beyond belief. Great stage presence but his messages lacked content. This was the only time/place he was seen on the ship. I wonder if he knew something that the rest of us didn't. The dining and show schedules were timed such that you would not miss your dining opportunity. It was easy to see and do all of the daily activities as they were few in number. However in one of the lounges, there was a passenger talent night. This included a number of the staff members. One skit by the staff included a man and girl imitating a one man band without instruments. He had her on his knee and was strumming her body like a guitar. Other instruments were played in the same manner and all performed with children in the audience. Shopping Guide and information. Other than an occasional ad in the Today nightly newsletter, we were on our own. No port information, just information about excursions, which were few in number but not very highly priced. Cultural presentations did not exist. There was much about the Italian, Greek and Croatian cultures which could have been expressed in presentations but was. The line lost another great opportunity here. The Today nightly newsletter was inconsistent (times, locations) and reminded me of a preliminary outline. It showed times and locations for many activities, but there was no detail about what was meant by "Animation" or other such Costa terms of art. You really had to study the document well and sometimes call Customer Service for help in confirming details so you don't miss something. Customer Service Department provided a great service to me but answers from two different employees were inconsistent and unreliable. This is not unique to the CSD but applies to staff throughout the ship. Don't rely on information/detail provided by only one person. Confirm, confirm, confirm. The casino was lovely. Well appointed and equipped. It was enjoyed and appreciated by adults and minors, alike. Passenger mix. Clearly, if you are not Italian, you are in the minority. It's nice to be among and learn from diverse cultures. I learned that with few exceptions, they were loud, pushy and thought they owned the aisles and corridors of the ship. I waited in line by the pool to grab a burger and as soon as I got to the food, they entered the line in front of me as if I wasn't there. One afternoon, I was the last to enter an elevator when two Italian women inside uttered some rapid exploitive and physically pushed me out of the elevator! The children learn from their parents. None of the other nationalities on board could compare with the arrogance of these Italian speaking cruisers. The cruise line did not appear to have any significant outside commission interests. Their concessions were limited to advance purchase drink packages, drink of the day and an "a la carte" restaurant, however none of them were pushed on the passengers. Bingo was available as was a small but pleasant art auction showroom. However, neither the game nor the art work were "in your face" like on several other cruise lines. Nice touch, Costa. Excursions were few in number and none offered for Mykonos. The reason being that the ship was tendered of this Greek island entirely after dark. That's the risk of taking an itinerary with two stops in one day during the spring or autumn. The worst event was yesterday when the ship returned to Venice for disembarkation. We arrived in a dense fog, shutting down the port. The 9 AM arrival happened at just before 2 PM. Not at all the fault of the cruise line. These things happen. However the throngs of cruisers sitting in the Rex Showroom for hours upon hours with only a few messages from the crew was inexcusable. They finally directed the Bar Service in to sell drinks and ultimately, opened the restaurants to their weary travelers, many of whom were preparing to miss their ingoing travel arrangements. Another missed opportunity to build a return customer base. It was a very Costly day on Costa. Recommendations: - Arrive the day before the cruise and schedule a late flight on the last day. Even better, linger in port for a day or so. - Thicken your skins about being with pushy, loud folks. - If you have cruised before on Princess, Holland or Royal, lower your expectations. - Remember all prices on board (photo shop, gift shops, drinks) are in Euros. - If you fly to the port, either have Costa make your booking or use one of the larger airlines. We missed our flight and the airline did not have another trip for 2 days. We bought new tickets at last minute fares on a large carrier and the trip home cost more than the cost of our cabin for the week! In summary, it was a great learning experience and I am glad that I cruised on Costa and took this itinerary. I would try them again, but I am not in a hurry and certainly not in Europe. If I think of more as I view my photos and things sink in (bad choice of word) I will supplement this review. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2008
This was my first cruise and I always wanted to see the Greek Isles. We booked our own flights to get good times and connections. This allowed a day in Venice a day before the cruise. Getting around Venice proved easy as long as you ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I always wanted to see the Greek Isles. We booked our own flights to get good times and connections. This allowed a day in Venice a day before the cruise. Getting around Venice proved easy as long as you remember Vaporetti (water bus)lines 1 or 2 travel the canal allowing for great views without paying exhorbitant water taxi charges. The stations are well marked unlike other reviews I've read. Cost was 13 euros round trip. The embarkation was a breeze, and while waiting for our boarding time to be called, we decided to purchase a beverage package. We opted for the "special" wine/water package which includes 5 bottles of better wine (red and white), a bottle of proseco and 10 liter bottles of water. The savings is over 40 euros by buying this way. You can always buy wine or water from Costa via their internet site or when you are on ship. We did this for the last night with an upscale Italian red wine. FYI, as you board they will offer the same beverage options in case you want to wait. We attended several of the theater shows and they were good. The piano bar (Rosso) and the atrium bar were nice settings for an after dinner drink or cappuccino. Our tablemates preferred the very quiet cigar bar (no music)and we joined them a couple of times. Don't waste your time at the captain's gala. It was mainly a PR event for Costa Cruises including the captain's canned speech. If you go to the midnight buffet gala during the week, don't rush to get there early. Wait and take time to photograph the ice sculptures and other decorations before making your way through the kitchen to pick-up some italian pasties (yum). We found out more often it pays to be patient and let the crowds subside when there are special events. The exception would be the theater where it pays to go early to get a good seat. Be sure to stop at the customer service desk a couple of times to get a pre-bill. You may find, like we did, a couple of errors. Better to take care of it right away as the last day will be crazy with others having issues with their bill. Disembarkation upon return was a snap. You wait in the Rex theater for your bag tag color to be called. Once you're off wade through the mass of bags with your color tags...this part is a bit chaotic. Remember you're in Europe so go with the flow! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2008
On this itinerary we sailed the new Costa Fortuna that started in Rome and included Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, Tunis, Savona (Portofino), Malta and Palermo. I've read some reviews and it's mentioned that Costa mix ... Read More
On this itinerary we sailed the new Costa Fortuna that started in Rome and included Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, Tunis, Savona (Portofino), Malta and Palermo. I've read some reviews and it's mentioned that Costa mix international guests on their tours. We did not find this at all. In every tour we took we always had English speaking guides. When you disembark the ship you are directed to a motorcoach that will display a sign "ENGLISH". I noticed all the other nationalities had their buses as well. The French had "Francais" on theirs, "Espanol" for the Spanish and so forth. The only tour that had mixed nationalities was a bicycle tour in Palma and that was more of a bike ride than "tour". I highly recommend these bike tours. If you can ride a bike you'll love these tours. We took the one in Barcelona as well and we loved them both. The one port on this itinerary that is a MUST for an excursion is Tunis. The port is in an industrial area and is not walkable nor safe. We elected to take the excursion that included Carthage and a local museum. The guide offered to include a bazaar although it wasn't in the itinerary. Everyone said "sure!" We later learned this was so he could take every one to his buddy who sat us all in a big room and showed us carpet after carpet after carpet.... I eventually decided to leave and take in a little shopping - half the room took my cue an followed! The tour finished up in a delightful seaside village with time to shop there. Incidentally when we disembarked for a tour you meet with your fellow English speaking guests in a designated lounge with the English speaking host or hostess. They then take the group as a whole to the gangway or tender. This assures that all of the guests are on the buses at the same time. Speaking of the English speaking host. This was one of the best parts of the cruise! A welcome aboard talk was announced in Today, the daily program the first day. We met Alex who gave us a very informative talk about suggested shore excursions and learned about what to expect during our cruise. They even included a comical video about some of the crazy European habits - it was a good laugh. I encourage everyone to attend this talk!!! The host or hostess also maintains scheduled times at desks (like a concierge) - these are listed in the daily program. This person also goes on select excursions, will host other events, etc. Their SOLE purpose on board is to be there for their respective language group - in our case the English speaking guests. If you have a problem, he's the person to go to - forget the Purser's desk, they have too many other things to deal with and sometimes can be a little curt. The dining was very good and we enjoyed their speciality restaurant also on several occasions. Try the tasting menu from which you get to try a great selection of dishes. Costa offers several drink packages such as the single glass package (X1) that does have to be purchased in advance. The single glass package allows for you to have sodas, mineral water, draft beer and wine during the meal hours in the restaurant and buffet areas. This can be purchased on line before you sail. There are also wine and water packages. This is what we decided on - we purchased the package(there are 2 types: good and better) that includes 5 bottles of wine, a bottle of spumante and 10 bottles of mineral water. You can redeem the mineral water coupons at any bar (they don't have to be redeemed in the restaurant). I usually redeemed a coupon for a liter of water before I retired for the night and when also when I went on excursions or ashore. It was a much better buy than purchasing the small bottles offered at the gangway. The ship was gorgeous. Anyone loving the "grand ships" of yesteryear will love the theme. I understand she was the first passenger ship to be built in the Genoa yards since the Michelangelo in the '60s. Thus, everything is themed after the great, Italian liners. One restaurant, for example, is the Michelangelo with a 20 ft long model of the ship in front. Each public area is similarly named and there is artwork throughout the ship with the same maritime theme. We loved the "upside-down" fleet of the Costa ships in the atrium area. May was a great time to sail as it was not during the European summer break for the kids. Also, the ports were less crowded. Unless you want a lot of children on board avoid Late July through August. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2008
This was my 5th cruise and my husband's 3rd with all prior cruises being on Celebrity ships. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, as it went to most of the ports we wanted to experience in the Western Mediterranean. We flew into ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise and my husband's 3rd with all prior cruises being on Celebrity ships. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, as it went to most of the ports we wanted to experience in the Western Mediterranean. We flew into Venice Sunday morning at 11am to make sure were there in time to embark on Monday and also because we love Venice. It is well worth it to make time to spend in Venice, especially if you have never been there before. Once our plane arrived in Venice and we collected our luggage, we began the 6 minute hike to the Water Taxi stand. Make sure if you take a water taxi into Venice from the airport (or anywhere for that matter) that you take the official Venetian Water Taxi, identified by the yellow taxi strip along the side windows. It should cost about 90 euros, depending on where you are being dropped in Venice. The ride takes about 25 minutes. Our taxi took us straight to the window of our Locanda on a small canal. We stayed at Locanda Orseolo in a room on this little canal. This is the second time we had stayed here and would not stay anywhere else in Venice. It is a superb location (just off St. Mark's Square), amazing service (a staff that treats you like family and remembers you when you return, not to mention will do anything to make your trip special), and excellent accommodations. (see my review on Tripadvisor.com). On Monday morning we took a water taxi direct from our hotel to the port, which cost about 100 Euros, but is well worth it. You pull up right next to all the cruise ships and as soon as you get off at the dock, your luggage is taken to the ship and you are given a number to turn in once inside the terminal and instructions to follow once in the terminal. Embarkation was a breeze. We were in a Grand Suite (7295) so had priority embarkation, but we arrived at the terminal about 12pm and pretty much everyone there was able to casually walk on the ship regardless of priority which was nice. You do have to show your cruise ticket and go through a security scan (less strict than airport), but after that, it is a photo on the gangway and you walk right on. Once on board, the crew directs you to the buffet restaurant for lunch and there is a bag check at the door where you can check your carry-ons if you like so you don't have to carry them with you. We were not ready for lunch and asked someone when we could go to our cabins and were told we could go to our cabin at anytime as the keys/cruise card would be on the bed in the cabin. So we found our way to our suite and sure enough there were the cards on the bed along with the schedule for the day. We perused this and noticed that in order to pre-register your credit card so all onboard charges would be billed to it, you had to meet at one of the meeting rooms at 2pm. We decided to make this a priority since we knew if we waited too long, the line would be long. There was a nice bottle of Prosecco chilling in the room with some snacks and a bowl of fresh fruit. We saved the Prosecco to enjoy while we dressed for dinner after sail away. We looked around the ship and were at the meeting room by 1:45pm so we were among the first to get our cards registered with no wait. By the time we left, a crowd was forming and people were taking numbers to wait their turn. Next we decided to go have a light lunch by the pool. They had typical buffet fare inside with much of the same stuff, plus burgers, chicken, hot dogs, fries and similar items available at the pool. We got our meals and found a table and were soon approached by Bar Service. We had chosen to purchase the X-1 package for drinks before the cruise -- you must purchase this at least 2 weeks prior to the cruise departure and can do so by calling Costa directly, or if you booked through a travel agent, through the agent. It cost about $12 US dollars per day per person and entitles you to all the beer (Carlsbad on tap -- really not bad at all), red wine, white wine, bottled water, or soft drinks that you want during lunch hours (about 12pm - 2pm and dinner hours about 6pm - 10:00pm) that you want while in either the dining room, the pool buffet, or the main buffet seating areas. It is a good idea to give the Bar Staff a tip of a few Euros each day and that insures excellent attention when you want a refill. In the dining room, after the first night we gave our wine steward 5 Euros each night and he would just bring a few bottles of wine, red and white, at a time and leave them on the table -- as the X1 is by the glass and this can be a problem if your wine steward is busy with people buying a bottle of wine that night as opposed to using the X1. The ports of call for the cruise were: Bari, Italy; Katakolon/Olympia, Greece; Santorini and Mykonos Greece in the same day; Rhodes, Greece; a day of cruising; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and back to Venice, Italy for disembarkation. These are all great spots to visit, however not enough time is afforded for some of the ports. In each port we had hired a private guide directly ourselves, not using Costa excursions or the Costa private tour service. In hindsight, if we had known that Costa had a private tour service we would have used it as I will explain later. In Bari (on Tuesday from 12pm - 6pm), there are a few worthy sites in the city, but it is best to travel to the outer areas offered, such as Alberbello to see the Trullo houses/huts or the enchanted sassi of Matera. We went to Alberbello with our guide. It takes about 45 minutes to get there but is a truly unique site and worth the drive. The drive is interesting anyway. After returning to Bari, we had time to drive through the city with our guide pointing out some of the important spots and then walk through the Basilica of St. Nicholas. Some people we met on the cruise went to Matera and loved it as well. The time allotted for Bari was sufficient but required a little rushing. The good thing about Bari is that the ship is docked and not tendered so it is easy to get on and off the ship. Although be warned that getting on the ship at ANY port is time consuming and there was always a pretty long line as you have to go through a security scan, show your cruise card and your passport first. The next day (on Wednesday 12pm - 6pm), we were in Katakolon/Olympia, Greece. We were tendered here for disembarkation. TENDERING WAS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF THE WHOLE CRUISE. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, knew what they were doing. First of all, no matter what cabin category you had on the ship (we had a Grand Suite which is the highest cabin category), the first people to disembark when tendered are the passengers who have excursions booked through Costa! So you are definitely discriminated against no matter how much money you spend on your cabin if you do not book the Costa excursions. We were told by people we met on the ship that were also English speaking that the tours were in more than one language and the guides spent much more time explaining things in other languages and by the time they got to English, there was a quick, concise explanation without a lot of substance the other languages received. Also, whenever we have done cruiseline sponsored excursions, they have always felt like such a structured cattle call, that we chose to use private guides. If we had known that Costa offered private guides for private tours, we would have booked through them as then we would have had priority disembarkation for the tenders. So back to the tenders. In Katakolon/Olympia we were ready to tender before noon and waiting in the lounge for a tender ticket. We were among the first non Costa excursion passengers to get off of the ship and we were not able to get off until 2:15pm. So we along with lots of other angry passengers who had not booked excursions through Costa, waited and waited and waited in the lounge (which was smoke filled - more on that later as well)for well over 2 hours to get off the ship and enjoy the port. This gave us about 3 hours in port since we had to be back on the ship by 5:30pm. We were VERY upset as were the majority of the other people waiting. It was almost like a mob scene, very unpleasant, no crew member able to give any indication of when we would actually get off the ship - but only to tell us to sit and wait patiently. Not a good scene and not a way to spend vacation time at all. One we finally got on shore, our private guide was great. It is about a 30 minute drive to the archeological site of Olympia. The ruins are truly amazing and the museum is very nice as well. After this we spent a small amount of time in the new town of Olympia for shopping - typical tourist type stuff at high prices thanks to the Euro. Any t-shirt we bought at any port to take back to our 2 year old daughter was at least 13 or more Euros. We were also supposed to visit a winery, and while we got to ride by and see it, we were not able to visit it/taste wine since we missed over 2 hours in the port due to the tender issue and the winery was then closed. When we got back to the ship it was docked for embarkation but the line was still long. Once back on the ship, we decided to find someone that could help us figure out a better way or give us better information about tendering since 3 of 3 of the remaining ports would be tendered. Guest Relations had no idea what they were talking about and told us to talk to Excursions Desk. While we waited a good 30 minutes at Guest Relations to talk to someone and then another 30 minutes at Excursions to talk to someone, the Guest Relations crew member then came and got us out of the Excursions line and told us there was no one on the ship that could help us, no one could do anything to expedite the process and to live with it. Well this infuriated us. We spent all this vacation time and money to be on this cruise and there was no customer service and nothing but frustration with the tenders - so we wasted SOOOO much time we could have been enjoying a port sitting in lounges waiting on our turn to tender. We persisted with Customer Relations, and in spite of the fact that the manager was in, she refused to talk with us at all. Finally, because we were so persistent, they called the English Speaking Hostess, Audrey (who is truly great)to come and talk with us once we told them that we were going to go to the Captain's Cocktail party that night and tell the Captain about our problem (and the problem of many other passengers) and also let the Captain know that the manager refused to talk with us, even though the manager's staff was ill informed about helping us. So Audrey was very kind and once she understood we were losing hundreds of dollars for private tours we had booked directly ourselves b/c we were unable to get into port in time on the tenders (we had to pay the guides the agreed price as they were sitting waiting on us for hours to get off the ship for our tours, when we should have been with them touring), she gave us her personal pager number and told us to page her when we were ready to get off the ship in the morning and she would personally escort us off the ship right away. Well, that seemed like a good idea, except we found out that night when we got the itinerary for the next day, that we would first be at the new port in Santorini for disembarkation of only the Costa Excursion passengers and then after a time at that new port, would cease tendering and reposition to the old port to tender the passengers who had not purchased Costa Excursions. Since our private guide was to meet us at the Old Port, it would have done us no good to get off first at the new port. So Thursday we are in Santorini from 7:30am until 1:30pm. Because of the tender issue, the earliest we were able to get off of the ship was 10am. Then we had to wait in line for the chair lift up the cliff (VERY STEEP) to the town to meet our guide. We were finally with our guide at 10:15am for a tour that was to start at 8am. He did a great job of showing us the entire island and giving us a lot of history. Oia is beautiful. We visited a winery that was amazing -- the wines were excellent, especially the whites. One we returned to the port, it would have ben nice to have time to look around, but we had to get in line for the chair lift down to the tender area and then wait in line for the tender. The last tender was to be at 1pm and we were in the chair lift line with a bunch of other Costa passengers at 12:30pm. All the passengers who had taken the Costa excursions were then dumped out into this small port town to shop so it was all the Costa excursion people and all the other Costa passengers trying to get back on the ship through the chair lift line. It took about 45minutes to get on the lift and down to the tender docks. The lines were long and very unorganized for the tenders. At one point a tender boat that could have easily help 100 plus people pulled up, docked, and 4 passengers were let on (my guess is they had a private excursion booked through Costa) and the tender took off back to the ship -- what a waste when 100's of passengers are waiting in line to tender back to the ship. That evening we were to be tendered in Mykonos from 6pm to 11pm with the last tender back to the ship at 10:30pm. Passengers without Costa Excursions (there was only one Costa excursion in this port so most people were without a Costa excursion for Mykonos) were told to be in a particular lounge by 5:45pm at which time tender number tickets would be given out. Well, my husband and I decided to go the the lounge at 5pm and have a drink while we waited. We were 2 of the first 10 people in the lounge. You were instructed to have a seat and wait until 5:45pm, then form a line and tickets would be given, only 1 per person when you showed your Costa card (this was the basic set up for each port with tenders). By 5:30pm people were packing into the room and pushing up to the front,not sitting as instructed. Shortly thereafter, they announced tender tickets would be handed out so I got up and went to the front unable to get any tickets as they ran out of tickets. Passengers were getting 10 plus tickets per person and then giving them to friends,etc. who were not in line. It became a true mob scene with everyone pushing an yelling. So I sat back down and waited for them to announce there were more tender tickets available. After waiting for about 30 minutes, more tickets were handed out and it was the same hysteria. At this point we were very frustrated, tickets were all gone again, and we were very disappointed. We were instructed to wait again. At this point we decided to salvage our evening, not stress over tender tickets, and go up on deck, enjoy the views of the town and then have a drink at the aft pool bar (our favorite bar on the ship -- Ruperto is the best bartender/crew member we met. The people that work at this pool work very, very hard). once up on deck we were extremely dismayed to find that with a ship of over 3000 passengers, there were only 2 tender boats for Mykonos. about 1 hour later, we went back to the lounge to see how the wait was and the lounge was overrun with so many people you could not even get into the outer hallway of the lounge. It was at that time that we made the decision we would not be going in to port at Mykonos as once we got there we would only have to wait in line for an extreme amount of time to get back to the ship. While this was disappointing, we made the most of it and made other plans for the evening. Just a note, it was almost 9pm that evening before the ship made the announcement that it was no longer necessary to have a ticket to tender in to Mykonos. Rhodes was the port for Friday and we were docked from 8am - 6pm. We were able to timely get off the ship, meet our private guide and have a truly enjoyable day ashore. Old town and Lindos are beautiful. Our guide took us to a wonderful non tourist restaurant on a beautiful bay for lunch that was phenomenal. This is an island we would definitely return to stay for several nights with a good mix of metropolitan/historic/and beauty to enjoy. I know it helped that we did not have the tender issue to deal with as well. Saturday was a day of cruising. The weather was iffy, but it didn't rain. We enjoyed relaxing on the ship. While we had not taken Audrey our English Speaking Hostess up on her offer to call her to tender right away in Mykonos as we thought it was only fair we give the cruise line one more shot to get it right (BAD DECISION ON OUR PART), we determined we were not taking our chances for the last tender port of Dubrovnik. We called Audrey Saturday evening and she assured us if we called in the morning she would get us right off the ship. Sunday we were tendered in Dubrovnik, Croatia for 8am to 1pm with the last tender back to the ship at 12:30pm. We called Audrey at 7:45am and she met us and got us right of the ship as promised and we were in Dubrovnik by 8:15am. It is a truly amazing port and certainly deserves more than 4 1/2 hours, but at least we weren't delayed by the tender service since we went around the Costa system (or lack there of?) on this one! Monday was disembarkation at 9am. We had priority disembarkation for the end of the cruise in Venice b/c we were in a suite. We were to meet in a lounge at 8:45am. We were there at 8:30am. Finally, at 9:30am, they began the disembarkation process. We gathered our luggage which took some time as with the end of any cruise it was scattered throughout the piles. Then we went to the water taxi stand outside the cruise terminal - if you go out the side entrance (straight ahead after you collect luggage) it is just to your left down the stairs or ramp toward the water -- requested a water taxi to the airport which cost 130 Euros, were given a taxi number and directed to a dock to wait for our number. When our taxi number arrived, we handed the driver the slip of paper showing the number and payment made, he helped with our bags and we were off to the airport which took about 30 minutes. Once at the dock at the airport a porter asked if we wanted porter service -- DO NOT PASS THIS UP -- remember it is a 6 minute walk with luggage back to the airport, then the lines are crazy and it is difficult to find where you need to be. So for 30 Euros the porter loaded our luggage in a van, drove us to the front of the airport, and another porter collected our luggage, pushed his way through the crowds and dropped us off at the Delta Business Elite desk much more easily and quickly than we would have managed on our own. Dining on Costa was fine. You could always find something to eat. We are not the type of person who grazes all day long. Most mornings we enjoyed cappuccinos in our suite with a breakfast roll of some sort. We did try the omelettes one morning and they were excellent. Guests in suites have full restaurant menu service for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the suite everyday if they chose to partake of it. It was nice on the early morning ports to be able to get a cappuccino in the room. Service from our suite butler was always prompt. She was excellent. We had a snack at lunch or early afternoon in our suite a few days which was also very good and prompt. It surprises me that whenever a cheese and fruit plate was served, it was served with 3 packs of saltines (Zesta) and no fresh bread or interesting crackers. We ate all but 3 evenings in our main dining room. We were seated at a table for 8 and there were only 6 of us that ever showed up for dinner. The people at our table were very nice and we enjoyed chatting with them about their port excursions and what we had each experienced that day. We were seated with all English speaking guests in a table right next to the Captain's table -- suite guests are supposed to be seated in a priority area only reserved for suite guests. I thought we would get better service this way or at least good service at dinner, but this was not the case. Usually we waited about 30 - 40 minutes before water was even poured and our waiter came around to greet us. Then another 30 minutes or so before we got our first course and it was usually about that time that drink orders were taken. One couple at our table did not drink alcohol, but preferred iced tea. I don't think it was ever offered to them and each night they would only get 1 glass of water, never a refill was offered. With the X1, once we had the wine steward tipped, he would eventually bring us our wine and bottled water so we did not run out of water and often tried to share it with out table mates. So timing at dinner was way off and service was definitely lacking here. It is not like service on Celebrity where you have people surrounding you and really looking after you to make sure you have an enjoyable experience. The food in the dining room was fine. It was not outstanding, but some things were better than others. The pastas were always very good. My husband always enjoyed the beef entrees as did most others at our table. I don't eat beef so usually ordered fish which was hit and miss. Often sauces were used to try to cover up the overcooked nature of the seafood. We didn't usually get dessert, or if we did we shared one. These were generally very good. One night (the night we were tendered in Mykonos) we had planned to eat at the Pizza Trattoria that was so hyped up. We had enjoyed this on a Celebrity cruise very much as it was a nice change of pace, service was great and the food was very good and the area quiet/cozy. On Costa a section of the buffet restaurant was to be transformed with checkered table clothes, pizza menus and table service beginning at 9pm each evening. The daily ship schedule even specified this each day. So we were in the buffet at a checkered table cloth table at about 9:15pm this particular evening. Bar service came and we ordered a nice bottle of wine to enjoy and asked for a pizza menu. At that point, bar service sent over a buffet wait staff person who told us pizza menus would be available in 10 minutes. We decided to enjoy a salad/appetizer from the buffet which was very good. At 9:45pm we asked or Pizza menus and were told it would be another 15 minutes. So finally, at 10pm, trying not to be too upset, my husband again asked for a pizza menu. The head waiter came over at that point and informed us that pizza menus would not be available tonight until we left port (11pm or later) since there were still passengers coming back on the ship and the ship had decided to keep the regular buffet open until we left port so these passenger could enjoy the buffet. Needless to say we were not pleased one bit. My husband politely looked at the head waiter and explained to him that we had this evening planned to enjoy the pizza trattoria on the ship, we were unable to go ashore due to the ships poor tendering/organization, and that we wanted a pizza menu NOW. he quickly brought us a menu and by 10:30pm (a FAR cry from 9pm Pizza Trattoria opening time per ships daily schedule and literature distributed by Costa) we were each enjoying a personal size, freshly baked pizza Margherita. It was very good and a nice evening except for the hassle we had to go through to get it -- which seems to be the norm for Costa -- "we can't help you until you push to the extreme and when you push to the extreme and are frustrated to the point where we are on the verge of completely ruining your vacation, we will provide a solution." Another evening we had reservations in the specialty restaurant at 9pm on Friday evening. We had made the reservation on line well in advance of the cruise departure date and received an online confirmation of the reservation. This is another "perk" provided to guests in suites -- one complimentary evening in the specialty restaurant, not including alcohol. So we showed up (not easy to find) a few minutes before our reserved time. There were only about 4 other tables occupied in the restaurant when we arrived and only one more was seated after we were that evening. We told them who we were and the time of our reservation and of course they had no record of it and acted like this was a big deal. I explained I had made the reservation online, had a confirmation, and that we were in a Grand Suite at which time they asked for the card that was in our cabin advising us we could make a reservation for a complimentary meal. Of course we didn't have that as no where were we told to take that and if we have our Costa card, they can tell which room we are in and that we are in a suite. So we told them our suite number and then we were seated right next to a service cart when there were at least 20 or more vacant tables that were set and never seated that night. So we ordered a very nice bottle of wine which was properly decanted and very nicely served to last throughout our meal. We ordered from a nice selection of items. The food and service were better than in the main restaurant by far, but nothing I would dub "specialty" in the real world. On this ship maybe it was "specialty." But it was good and the service was very good. I ordered the swordfish -- the only entree that was seafood with no beef or pork in it -- and it appeared to be a pre-made patty as opposed to a real fillet or steak and was tough. My husband had the beef and he loved it. He did not care too much for my swordfish either as it was overcooked. With dessert a complimentary glass of Champagne was served which was a nice touch considering it cost 8.95 Euros for the most inexpensive glass of champagne anywhere on the ship. We were brought the bill to review and only had to pay for our wine which was about 100 Euros. The dinner charge was 75 Euros which we would have had to pay if we were not in a suite. The last evening we chose to bring pizzas back to the room from the pizza trattoria as my husband was not feeling well and as such, not up to going to dinner. On this evening, Sunday the last night of the cruise, everyone in the Pizza Trattoria was attentive and they even helped me to package the pizzas to take back to the room with ease. The pizzas were nice again VERY good. The pizza menu changes nightly. When the trattoria is running as it should be, a plate of fried appetizers is brought to the table once you order your pizza which is a nice touch as well. The salad bar is also available if you want a salad with your pizza. Entertainment on the ship was fine. We did not get to any of the shows in the theater, but our table mates seemed to enjoy them. Most of the entertainment we enjoyed was in the lounges. The Rosso wine bar has a nice due each evening of violin and piano -- very talented musicians. The bar is small so it gets a little smokey --- which reminds me -- all of the bars on the ship have designated smoking areas, but most of them are so entertwined with nonsmoking, and there are so many smokers, that you get some smoke almost anywhere you are in the bars/lounges. Because of this and because Ruperto was SOOO nice, the bar at the aft pool became our favorite spot for a predinner drink or a night cap, or even just relaxing in the afternoon or getting some morning sun. They made the BEST cappccinos on the ship at the pool bar at the aft pool as well. The main lounge on deck three was the hub of activity where most people seemed to gather before and after meals. We had the late seating 9pm -- and the music in here was always going strong after dinner with the crowd lively. The entertainers we saw were talented. Ship photographers were okay -- on formal nights they were set up with usually some wile background scene to take pictures which had very contrived poses. We didn't purchase any of these. Most nights the photographers came around to tables in the restaurant and took photos of each group -- these usually turned out good, but there are only so many photos on the same cruise that you need of the two of you leaning in at a dinner table. We did purchase some though and as usual they were expensive. The photos on deck during sailaway from Venice were great with Venice in the background. Photographers were usually stationed at ports when passengers disembarked to snap photos with the city as the back drop as well. While the ports were wonderful, I think you can gather, there is not enough time, especially with the tender issues, to really enjoy the ports that are only afforded 1/2 day. Costa could improve first by fixing the tender issue and secondly by extending the time in the 1/2 day ports. This may take some itinerary rearranging, but might cut down on the tender frustration as well?? I am 37 years old and my husband is 52 years old and there were a good mix of people of various ages on the ship. There were a lot of little children on the ship as well. All in all there were only about 400 English speaking passengers, with the majority being Italian, German, and French and a smaller number of Asian passengers. We chose the cruise as I said earlier for the itinerary, but also because we thought if we were in Europe we wanted to be on a ship with Europeans, so we were prepared to be in the minority as English Speaking passengers. Most of the crew spoke English very well so it was not a problem. Unfortunately, when we cruise again, we would not cruise with Costa. For the money we are willing to spend and do spend on a vacation, we expect service and to get what we pay for. We understand that there may be an occasion where everything does not go as planned, but on Costa that seemed to be the norm. It is our thought that there is no real direction from a corporate level, and that if there is, the direction is not very service oriented - more like do your job, be nice and don't worry that much about the passengers' complaints, just be nice. Celebrity is more our style and has always met our expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2008
I have read many reviews re Costa and cannot understand why they are so negative etc. First on reading them it seems obvious that cruisers have cruised this line for one reason. It is very inexpensive for what you get. Have done a few ... Read More
I have read many reviews re Costa and cannot understand why they are so negative etc. First on reading them it seems obvious that cruisers have cruised this line for one reason. It is very inexpensive for what you get. Have done a few Transatlantic Crossings with Costa and the most I have paid for a o/s cabin was $799 for 17 days. That put daily would not buy my wife and I lunch. How are the cabins. They are fine and the cabin service excellent. How is the Food in the main dining room for dinner. You have basically basically 5 choices every evening. They are not all bad, actually I did not find any bad. Maybe some not what you prefer but you have at least 5 choices pick one. The Buffet also has quite a assortment, it is there for you again pick a couple of items per sitting do not take everything and then say it was the same everyday. Entertainment well it is not RCL or Carnival They do not have the assortment of daily activities available on American featured cruise lines. But European people are mostly quite satisfied to sit in the sun have a couple of drinks or coffees and sunbath go up now and again pick up a pastry or some fruit. Are they rude like most American Critics say. I do not think so. To be honest more of them speak English than Americans speak Italian, French or German If they are not from a say Italian family. On both the last 2 Transatlantic crossing we have made friends with Italians, Germans and even people from Iceland. Regarding one review I read from a woman stating about a Captains Party that they enquired about and where told it was not for Americans I was on this cruise again this woman jumped to conclusions. There where a large amount of English on this ship. They had done a week in the Caribbean and then the Transatlantic Cruise they had a farewell Party the night before we reached Dover as this was their port for disembarking we went on to Copenhagen. The point of view from the women via another person was made by the girl in the purser's office simply trying to tell the gentleman that this was not for the visitors that had embarked in Ft. Lauderdale. i.e. Americans But yes it could have come out better than her say it was not for the American embarkees. To be honest if you want Royal treatment go on Crystal or Regent and pay the big dollars. But for what you get on Costa for what the majority of us pay it is exceptional value. Re other reviews the X1 package this is a soda and drinks package at about $14 US per day per person it gives you basically unlimited Beer and Wine from around Noon to 3PM at the pool bar or dining rooms and from Around 7pm till after dinner. You can if you have the late sitting at 8.30 sit at the pool bar if it is your desire and drink until 8.30 then go to the main dining room and drink all through dinner. For my review certainly go Costa but go with a open mind if you have cruised well before do not pay $800 for a 15 - 17 day cruise and put it against a RCI or Princess that you paid $1200 for 7. To be honest for 1st time cruisers please look beyond some of these reviews of some people there is generally some reason for something and sometimes it is not as it seems. Our last cruise with Costa we waited over 2 hours to get our luggage not the best if you had connections, but as my friend pointed out they had been paging 3 or 4 couples to go to the pursers desk all morning. Thought is they prob. did not pay their bill and the delay was caused by trying to pull their luggage as they would have to contact them for it. Do not know if this was the case but it could have been. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2008
Was looking forward to a nice 7 day cruise since our last cruise was 4 months ago. Having beautiful ports close by as Miami & Fort Lauderdale we hop on last minutes regularly, this would be our 38 cruise and next month we go on a 3 day ... Read More
Was looking forward to a nice 7 day cruise since our last cruise was 4 months ago. Having beautiful ports close by as Miami & Fort Lauderdale we hop on last minutes regularly, this would be our 38 cruise and next month we go on a 3 day out of Miami. Costa cruise came up within our cruising group and we purchased the trip. upon arrival at the port we quickly checked in very efficiently. later got to our room which is what we expected and found our luggage already inside that was great.Started our 7 day R & R. That evening we got to second seating #104 sat down & two gentlemen came over handed us our menus & left, never introduced themselves. Served water once and didn't see them for 15 min. i had to ask him to bring a pitcher of water since i drink alot of water during dinner & since his water rounds were far & in between it would probably be better. my experience with the dinning room was the worst i have ever experienced in my life. The food was substandard, presentation was substandard & our waiters were the worst. We ordered wine the first four days at the table,asked for a ice bucket twice to maintain the wine cool it was like talking to a wall even though we speak fluent english & spanish so it wasn't a language problem.The maitre'd showed up to the two Italian speaking tables next to us and ignored the rest. One evening after dinner we were having some drinks & were talking to a Canadian couple with equal amount of trip under there belts which had the same opinion of the dinning room staff. So for this reason I give the dinning room staff of Costa fortuna thumbs down.I received more welcomes from the residents of the island of Grand Turk walking down the street in 5 hrs than the whole 7 days at sea with the Costa Ship Staff. My room stuart Jesse was great he got double gratuity. Shows were ok, nothing to white home about. This was a bad trip, will not travel Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
First impressions will last a lifetime. We were not thrilled the moment we walked onboard the Fortuna. Our experience was not good. Luckily we went with 3 other couples so we had great company! We made the most of our cruise and had a good ... Read More
First impressions will last a lifetime. We were not thrilled the moment we walked onboard the Fortuna. Our experience was not good. Luckily we went with 3 other couples so we had great company! We made the most of our cruise and had a good time. But we will never sail with Costa again, even if we are given a free trip with Costa. Don't bother wasting your money! Save it and choice another cruise line. So, we are just coming off of our cruise on Costa's Fortuna. We sailed March 9 - 16, 2008. Just like most other reviews we read, this one is no different. We are experienced cruisers, and have sailed many other times, with different cruise lines before, but in a nut shell, we will NEVER sail with Costa again. We should have done our homework before booking. If we had, we would have known this is a Carnival Owned and Operated cruise line. I do not like Carnival, never will sail with them or Costa ever again. Easy check in. We arrived around 11am, checked in, walked onboard, rooms were not ready, so we went to enjoy a lunch buffet. Food was luke warm, nothing was piping hot. Nothing all week was hot except one night in the dining room. It was a type of pasta. After 2pm there is not a choice of different foods. You get salad or pizza till after 7 when the dinner buffet opens. After 9, there pizza comes back. Pizza was no better than a frozen one you can make at home. Dining room sucked. Our waiters did not acknowledge us most of the time until we rose our voices and waved our hands in the air to get their attention. Drinks were not refilled. Our glasses sat empty for a good 10-15 minutes before we could get anyone's attention. Food was not good on this ship. It was edible, but not hot. Nothing to different than your average food you can make at home. Dinner lasted from 8:45pm to 10:45pm every night. We missed most of the shows because of the way to slow and late dinners. Because Costa is Italian, Americans were outnumbered. YES! Italians are rude, pushy, and do not know what excuse me is. Costa crew members, for the most part, are friendly. It is the passengers you have to look out for. Our friendliest Costa crew member was our room stewardess. Ana was great! We had our teen kids, so we had 2 rooms. She took care of us. Gave us items when we asked for them, took care of issue as we asked. We never were made to wait for anything. Very good service. My only complaint, we never received any animals or cutesy things made out of towels (like other cruises before) and only one nite we received chocolate mints before bed. Costa Fortuna is a very complicated ship. It is hard to maneuver your way around this ship. Other cruise lines are simple. For whatever reason, Costa has decided that on all their ships, people will get exercise going from one place to another. Nothing is a straight shot. You go upstairs, to cross this hall, go down three flights, walk again, go up one flight of stairs, walk another hall, and finally make it to your destination. And we always get our room(s) in the middle of the ship, by stairs & elevators, to make getting places, easy on us. The ports we stopped at, ½ of them were not the best. St. Thomas is great. We were there all day. Very nice. Private island, Catalina, Dominican Republic, very nice. We were there all day. We had a ½ day in Nassau, Bahamas. We had a blast here, but again, our times were from 1pm-5pm. Not a lot of time to really accomplish all there is to do on this island. That's it for the nice islands! San Juan, 5pm-midnight. Not a lot to do at dark, in just a couple of hours. Shops were closing around 7-8pm. Friendly people, beautiful island (we've been here a few times before during the day), but night was not a good time to be in San Juan. Another night time trip was Dominican Republic, La Romana. This is a very dirty, nasty town. Only one excursion to do on the entire island. And it not something I was interested in doing. Some Spanish Dance thing. Whatever. That is the only reason we stopped here. So Costa can get a kickback from this one excursion. We should have skipped the DR at night and stayed in Nassau all day. So there you have it. Costa Sucks. This is my opinion. Try Costa if you dare, but you have been for warned. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
This was my first time on a 7 day cruise and on Costa. I have only sailed on a 2 night Celebrity cruise previously. Since I live in Ft Lauderdale and close to Port Everglades, travel to the ship was a short cab ride away. Embarkation: I ... Read More
This was my first time on a 7 day cruise and on Costa. I have only sailed on a 2 night Celebrity cruise previously. Since I live in Ft Lauderdale and close to Port Everglades, travel to the ship was a short cab ride away. Embarkation: I arrived at 1pm and the lines to pass through security were rather long, but once I checked in I was on the ship rather quickly. I didn't like the fact that my room key was actually in my cabin with the door open instead of given to me at check in but I was pleased with the size & decor of my cabin. My cabin was on Deck 2 with an Oceanview. I had a group to meet after the Muster drill so I relaxed in my cabin until the drill which I found very long due to the fact that they had to repeat everything in 5 languages. It was hot and humid and not a pleasing process. After the drill I met my Cruise Critic group on Deck 9. Our group which met on the Cruise Critic message board was great, we named ourselves Da Costa Rostas and made our own t-shirts. This group alone mad my vacation a wonderful experience and alot of fun! Dining: I was assigned late dining, even though I had requested early seating. I should have asked to have it changed because I didn't like eating that late and the fact the dinner was over around 10:30, most of the evening was over by then. I had dinner in the restaurant the first 2 nights and then just began eating at the buffet the remaining nights, I was having so much fun with the group, I looked forward to meeting them for drinks in the evening. The food was excellent both at the buffet and dining room. I had no complaints about the quality and availability of food on this ship. Next time I will insist on early dining. Customer Service: Customer Service I found to be great. My cabin steward constantly kept my cabin clean. I had no complaints about the any of the staff on the ship. They were all polite and customer friendly. Activities: There were plenty of activities to keep anyone busy. I only attended the Roman Night in the Rex Theater, I regret not having attended more shows there. I did sit through some afternoon craft classes which were fun. I also attended the Italian night which I enjoyed. The disco club was filled with very young kids the whole cruise, adults didn't really want to go because of that. They should have scheduled a few adult nights there. There was a club where a group called Brass Monkeys were playing, most of the adults hung out there. It was alot of fun and alot of dancing. Three Dog Night and Lovin Spoonful were also on the cruise and performed several concerts that were sold as part of a Rock n Roll package on Online Vacation Center. I did not have tickets but got to meet some of the band members and I heard from several group members that the concerts were great. Toga Night was our last night on the ship, most of us got into togas and took part in the fun. Ports of Call: San Juan: We arrived in San Juan at 5pm and were only scheduled to be there for 4 hours, so there was not much time. A small group of us walked around old San Juan while it was still light out, I really is a charming town lined with cobblestone streets and lots of shopping. St Maarten: We docked in St Maarten at 9am, I did not have an excursion booked,the sea was rough which caused many of the beaches to close. I had thought about going to Virgin Gorda but decided against it because of timing and the rough water. It was sunny and a nice day so I walked around the side streets close to the Port and did some shopping. I found a quaint outdoor bar on the boardwalk and had a few drinks with a group member. Our ship was only at the dock until 1:30pm then moved to an anchor position, so we had to take a tender back to the ship, what a fiasco that was. The lines were very long and loading passengers in the tender was disorganized at best bordering on dangerous, the tenders were crashing into the dock and one almost tipped over. The crew did not appear to know what they were doing or at least were not experienced with such rough water. Needless to say it was a frightening experience back to the boat. Tortola: We arrived at the Port at 8am. Several of the members of our group decided to meet at 8am and take a cab to Cane Garden Bay. We met on deck 9 and waited for an announcement that we were cleared to get off the ship. There was no announcement and we wasted up until 10am on the ship while others had already got off the ship much earlier. The sea was again rough and many excursions were cancelled and beaches closed. We were okay because we took a cab. It was a beautiful scenic ride to Cane Garden, we spent several hours on this beautiful beach taking pictures and walking around. We had a difficult time finding a cab to take us back so we asked a tour bus driver who happened to have some space on Freddie's Fun Bus Tours. This tour guide was funny and informative, this ride made our trip to this island, we had a blast on the way back to the port. Nassau: We arrived at 1pm and only scheduled to be there for 3 hours which isn't much time. Our same group members that had fun in Tortola booked the Discover Atlantis excursion. Though we had to take a boat to get there wand we were rushed to get back it was well worth the experience of Atlantis and it's beautiful grounds and aquarium. I tool some stunning pictures here. We jumped off the tour early and rushed back to catch our ferry back to Port. I wish we could have had more time there. We made it back in time for some of the group to do some quick shopping at the Straw Market. Disembarkation: We arrived back in Ft Lauderdale at 4:30am. They offered early disembarkation at 7am and I took it since I live local. It was a bit disorganized, they had us meet at the Rex Theater at 7am then we had to wait half hour or so and a very line started to form out side the theater and into the lobby, it became a rather large crowd with several lines, there was not enough room for a single line. The latecomers seemed to get off first which didn't make sense, then they changed plan and had the first to arrive drag our luggage all the way around the other side of the lobby and back to get off. Tempers were hot. Part of the deal was we had to take our own luggage off the ship. It was not a pleasant experience due to the fact that it was so disorganized. Once I made it through Customs I got a cab relatively quick and was home in 1/2 hour. Overall: It was a great cruise and I made many friends. I enjoyed the ship and it's activities. I was a bit disappointed at the short 3 hour stops at San Juan and Nassau but enjoyed the experience nevertheless. I will definitely cruise this ship again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2008
My husband and I cruised on the Fortuna 3/2/08 thru 3/9/08 along with 15 other people. We had no problem getting on the ship. Rooms weren't ready but that was not a problem. Went up and had lunch. By the time we were done, the room ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the Fortuna 3/2/08 thru 3/9/08 along with 15 other people. We had no problem getting on the ship. Rooms weren't ready but that was not a problem. Went up and had lunch. By the time we were done, the room was ready. Our cabin steward was great. Made sure we were okay the entire week. Our waiter was very unfriendly and the service was very slow just like the other reviews said. When we were in port, it seemed like they turned the air conditioning off. If you have sailed with other lines that give you FREE iced tea, punch and lemonade aid at the lido restaurants you will only find iced tea for fee. Very disappointing. Our biggest complaint is that the majority of the passengers were from Italy and they were very rude. They cut in front of you, didn't say excuse me and when you were sitting in a chair would ask you if you were done using it. Americans were definitely out numbered on this ship. We also talked to other Americans and Canadians who said the same thing. If you like getting pictures taken, don't waste your time. All of the pictures are in bins and you have to look at every single one until you find yours. Photo people were not friendly nor helpful. The alcoholic drinks were expensive. By the time they added the gratuity on they were $8.00 a piece. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND COSTA CRUISE LINE TO MY WORST ENEMY! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
Returned from a GREAT Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Costa Fortuna. We had the Easter sailing from March 23-30th. We are a family of 4 that traveled. Myself and Husband are in our mid-late 40's, and our twin sons who are 12. This is ... Read More
Returned from a GREAT Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Costa Fortuna. We had the Easter sailing from March 23-30th. We are a family of 4 that traveled. Myself and Husband are in our mid-late 40's, and our twin sons who are 12. This is our third cruise for myself and Husband, and second for our boys. This is all of our second time on a Costa ship. Last Easter we were on the Costa Magica that sailed to the Western Caribbean. The Fortuna is the "sister ship" to the Magica, and although we LOVED the "Fortuna", I have to give a slight edge to the "Magica". It is just a little more "magical!!" We are from Ohio (Go Bucks!!), so it is SO NICE to break away from the ice and snow and sail around the Caribbean!! PRE-CRUISE: Flew from Columbus, OH to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday before sailing. Stayed at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. (Stayed there last year before our Magica cruise and liked the price and location to beach an Port Everglades.) Was looking forward to enjoying some sun and sand, but unfortunately, had RAIN most of Sat. and all of Sat. night. Oh, well......it was alot warmer than Ohio!! EMBARKATION: Checked out of hotel on Sunday around 10:45AM, dropped off rental car at Thrifty (right outside gate to Port Everglades), and rode their shuttle right up to ship terminal. Was there by 11:00AM. Got our luggage tags right there, attendants tagged and took them away, and we were in line for our cruise! Very easy! They didn't open the doors inside the terminal until 11:30, but once they did, we were right in, got through detectors, got right in line, checked our passports and documents, and we were on the ship by 11:45AM! Went up to the 9th floor buffet and were eating poolside by noon! Very smooth and easy!! CABIN: Booked a Category O8A quad balcony stateroom on the 6th floor. Identical to room on Magica last year, but closer to the front of the ship. Rooms have PLENTY of storage and space for the 4 of us! Not in room too much anyway, but LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have that balcony! Have never sailed without one, so I don't know any different. Got the "kid's sail free" promotion this year (kind of why we took another cruise this year...can't beat it!) Our room steward, Gerald, was very nice and so delightful. Even made towel animals for the kids! Room was always immaculate! One thing about the Fortuna vs. the Magica are the mattresses on the beds. Last year on the Magica, the mattresses were thin, foam rubber things. Had to ask for a mattress topper. This year on the Fortuna, they are real mattress that are nice, thick and comfortable!! Nice duvet covers as well! Maybe Costa is upgrading their mattresses, but they were GREAT!! Always slept well, and kept the balcony door open to hear the "crashing of the waves" at night. Also, LOVE to order room service coffee or cappuccino in the AM and sit on my balcony while kids are still sleeping and just look at that beautiful sea!! PUBLIC AREAS: Costa keeps the cleanest and most immaculate ships I have been on! They are beautiful and a "work of art" as well! Another reason we love Costa. Their ships are very European in style, so there is artwork everywhere!! The Fortuna has the exact same layout as the Magica, so we were used to that and it was so easy to navigate. I don't know why some people find this so hard! Even on our first time on the Magica last year, it was so SIMPLE to get around! Even our twins had it down the first day! Anyway, the Fortuna is a beautiful ship, but I still think the Magica has that extra special "magic touch" in most areas. We spend most all of our time on sea days by the main pool where all of the activity is going on. We love to participate in all the dancing, games, etc. and there is NEVER a dull moment on these ships. From the water slide to all the poolside dancing and games, if you are bored, then it's YOUR OWN FAULT!! Chairs were hard to come by near the center of activity, but my husband gets up early every single day to "work out" in the gym, so he would "reserve" some chairs for us by 8:00AM. They were getting pretty filled up by then!! Everyone on board from the passengers to the crew were so nice an friendly! Always so courteous and always smiling! SQUOK CLUB: Can't comment on this. My twins are "tweens" and don't quite fit in with the little kids, and are too young for the teen kids. They didn't participate last year on the Magica either. They are just as content to "hang by the pool", read, listen to their I-pods, or just entertain themselves. So much to do! From what I could observe, though, the kids that were in the Squok Club seemed to be having a ball! DINING: O.K....this is the BIGGEST reason why I wanted to submit this review! I read so many reviews last year before my Magica cruise about the food, etc. I, unfortunately, never took the time to set the record straight with a review last year, so that is why I'm taking the time now! We had early seating in the Michelangelo dining room. The FOOD COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER!!!! Now, it was VERY GOOD on the Magica last year, but I felt the food this year on the Fortuna was OUTSTANDING!!! We are not picky people, but we like good food. Now, keep in mind, all you "foodies" that are reading this! Cruise food, in my opinion, is not "5-star" cuisine! How could it be when you're feeding 3,000 + people 3+ times/day?? BUT....having said that.....it should be palatable, hot, fresh, and a nice presentation! All of that was accomplished on this ship and THEN SOME!!! Food was always "piping hot" coming out to the table, selection was great, beef dishes were perfect and cooked to order, and the pasta was always PERFECT and DELICIOUS!! Can't say enough!! My kids tried alot of different dishes, and LOVED them, too! Now.....for a "little" of the down-side. Our waiter and assistant were very nice, friendly, efficient with the food, BUT it was hard to get a re-fill on iced tea. Water was filled pretty consistently, but you could never get the tea! He brought it out on the first two nights, and never asked after that. Now, I could have asked myself, but felt bad, as they seemed so busy and had several LARGE tables to attend to. This was just a MINOR complaint, so overall, I shouldn't be complaining at all! Food in the buffets for lunch and breakfast were always good, hot, and fresh! We just love all of the food offered by Costa, and especially like the omelette station for breakfast, the pasta stations at lunch, and the "pool Grill" as well! The burgers are so good, and the fries and salads, too! Bar drinks are reasonably prices, as are the virgin daiquiris. Beers, too! Friends just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise and complained alot about the "expensive" drinks for adults and kids (plus all the other things RC nickels and dimes you on!) They wished they would have went on Costa with us!! ENTERTAINMENT: Saw a show every single night and thought they were all very good! Especially the comedian and acrobats!! Went to some of the lounge shows with karaoke, dancing, Pizza Man Contest, (GO BRAD!!) and others. All very entertaining! Italian Street Festival is great and of course, TOGA NIGHT!!! We loved it last year on the Magica, and couldn't wait for it again this year on the Fortuna!! (also, had an easier time this year getting the #$@% togas on!!) Max was our cruise director last year, so we also had the "extra bonus" of getting him again on the Fortuna!! Great guy! PORTS OF CALL: This trip was the Eastern Caribbean run that went to San Juan, St. Thomas, Catalina Island, La Romana,and Nassau. SAN JUAN: Got into port around 5:00PM. Booked the "San Juan by Night" tour from Costa. Had a fun tour guide and got to see alot of "old" and "new" San Juan. Walked around and did a little shopping afterwards, then back on the ship. Very nice city of what we saw. ST. THOMAS: Was here about 15 years ago on our honeymoon, and stayed at Sapphire Beach Resort, so HAD to make a trip back there to see it again!! Booked a tour independently through Sunny Liston Tours! They were GREAT and I would highly recommend them!! Picked us up at the port at 9:00AM, dropped us off at Charlotte Amalie for shopping, then back on their "open-air" bus for some Island sightseeing, trip to Mountain-Top, then the rest of the day at the beach of your choice. You could choose from Megan's Bay, Coki Beach, or Sapphire Beach. Been to all 3 before, but MUCH prefer Sapphire!! It was exactly like my husband & I remember! The day was beautiful, and the water was so gorgeous and clear! Used their pool and "swim-up-bar" and ordered the same drink I did 15 years ago! Kids thought we were a little "corny" reliving our honeymoon, but so what??!!?? All in all, a GREAT DAY!!!!!!! CATALINA ISLAND: GREAT beach day!!! BEAUTIFUL ISLAND!!! Clean, beach barbecue was great, drinks, bars, and bar service were plenty!! What more could you ask for?? PARADISE!! They had some independent excursion people there that were selling rides on banana boats, etc. Cruise ship discourages using these people, but there was a LONG line for their services. The four of us did the "banana boat" ride. For $10 bucks each, they take you around 2 long laps in the ocean near the beach! FUN!!! Did NOT want to leave this place. We took the last tender back to the ship!! Could have skipped La Romana, and stayed longer!! LA ROMANA: This is about 5 miles from Catalina, so didn't take the ship long to get there. Once back on the ship from Catalina, we showered, went down to dinner, and then saw the first show in the theatre. We had booked tickets to the "Kandele Show" through Costa in La Romana. The outdoor show didn't start until 9:00, so we didn't have to get on the bus until 8:30. The show was in the resort of Caso De Campo, which was lovely from what I saw in the dark. The outdoor "Roman Theatre" was beautiful as well. The show was very good, too! There wasn't any other excursions to book on this stop, so I thought it would be fun to go. I always get off the ship no matter what port we are at and do something!! I see no point in sitting on the ship when you can be exploring the caribbean! So, the show was a fun thing to do! NASSAU: Got to Nassau around 12:00-ish or so, but by the time you could get off the ship, it was around 1:00. Would have loved to book a Dolphin Encounter or something, but with the short time in port (1-6), didn't have alot of time. We just took a water taxi over to Paradise Island and walked around Atlantis. Beautiful resort (just like any in Vegas), but not much they will let you see (other than aquarium) without paying. Kids would have LOVED to go on the water slides, pools, etc., but for $105.00 each, that was too much money for the amount of time we were there! Took water taxi back to Nassau after about 2 hours, went to Straw Market. That was a CLUSTER!!! Lots of people jammed in there! Wasn't even worth fighting the crowds for a "knock-off" Coach purse!! Back on the boat, and got ready for dinner. Nice day, but wished we would have booked a snorkel excursion or something else. Felt like we wasted our time at Atlantis. DISEMBARKATION: Well, all good things must come to an end!! We got up that Sunday morning (the 30th), showered, had a nice breakfast, then headed to one of the lounges we were assigned to to wait for our color to be called. Unfortunately,they called it, and we had to leave the ship! Quick and easy debarkation! Overall, GREAT CRUISE!!! My family just loves Costa, and would sail them again in a heartbeat!! In my opinion, they have the BEST value for your buck!!! It is a top-notch cruise, clean ships, great service, great food!! What more does one need?? I get frustrated when I read some of the "not-so-nice" reviews this cruiseline gets! That is why I had to put my "two-cents in" this year. Alot of people are loyal fans on other name-brandlines, but I say: "Shake it up a little" and "get-out-there" and try something else! You will be pleasantly surprised (and have a little extra in your wallet!) I am not that you would consider "loyal" to any one particular line. I choose my cruise on the itinerary first, and value second. I do have to say, though, I could be VERY loyal to Costa. We are already booked on another cruise for next Easter, but want to try the Southern Caribbean. Since Costa does not offer that particular itinerary, I am booked through RC on that one. Even though I am looking forward to the cruise, I will SURELY MISS the gracious "Italian Hospitality" and "European" flair you get with Costa! THAT'S AMORE!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
Background Information: We are a family of five, but only four of us were on this cruise—DH and myself (early-mid 40s), and two boys ages almost 16 and 11 years. This was my 7th cruise, DH's 6th, and the boys' 3rd-4th. We have ... Read More
Background Information: We are a family of five, but only four of us were on this cruise—DH and myself (early-mid 40s), and two boys ages almost 16 and 11 years. This was my 7th cruise, DH's 6th, and the boys' 3rd-4th. We have previously cruised with NCL and Carnival on itineraries ranging from 3 to 7 days (3, 4, 5, and 7 days). We had previously done Western Caribbean itineraries and the Bahamas/Florida. We have previously sailed out of Miami, Tampa, Port Canaveral, and Charleston, SC. This was our first cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, as well as our first try on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary, (with the exception of the cruise I did with my parents when I was about 12 years old). DH and I have now been on 6 cruises in 7 years, both with and without kids along. This was a "southeastern" itinerary on Costa Fortuna March 16-23, 2008, out of Ft. Lauderdale. The ports were San Juan, St. Martin, Tortola, and Nassau for 7 days. We purchased our cabins through an online cruise agent that we had used before with good results. There was a group on this cruise—rock and roll group there to see Three Dog Night and the Lovin' Spoonful. We were not part of that group, but they seemed to be having a good time, and their presence had no affect whatsoever on our experience of the cruise (other than meeting many of them through Cruise critic—great people!). I guess what I mean is, the fact that this was a themed group cruise did not change our cruise experience for the negative. Hardly knew they were there. Costa is an Italian cruise line, owned by Carnival. The Italian/European flair was different from previous cruises with Carnival and NCL, but was a positive aspect for us. If I do mention negatives in my review, it is only for the sake of objectivity. Any negatives were very minor, and did not affect our overall cruise experience. Pre cruise: We drove from Ohio to Florida beginning the Friday evening before the cruise. There were 5 of us in a mini-van with all our luggage. It actually wasn't too bad. We have been driving to Florida about once/year forever, and we prefer to drive all night while the kids sleep. Works out great for us! We spent the night Saturday with relatives in Melbourne Beach, FL, and drove to the port Sunday morning. I had booked parking via "Airpark" through my online TA's Website. It was "Continental Airport Parking" very close to the port. We paid $46 for the whole week. They had a shuttle bus to the port. The whole thing took about 30 minutes from check-in to drop off at the pier. Embarkation: I felt this went fairly smoothly. As I mentioned before, we have cruised from Tampa, Miami, Port Canaveral, and Charleston prior to this cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale. The shuttle driver went a bit too far past the porters to drop us off though! The porter I went to get was a bit rude about the whole thing...acted like he wasn't going to come get our bags. I gave him a look like, "I guess you don't want my %#* money then," and another porter saw this exchange and said he'd do it. However, then the first guy comes and gets the bags, complaining all the time about how the shuttle driver should have known where to stop...LOL! Whatever! This was day 1 and I was not about to let a hot grumpy man ruin my cruise. Next, we went inside to start the lines. Security line took about 10-15 minutes, and the check-in line about the same. We had an issue with our DS not being listed on the docs because we added a cabin at the last minute and had to switch me to the second cabin with one kid while DH was still listed in the first cabin with the other kid. Well, we had two sets of docs...both of which listed me, but neither of which listed DS #2...long story that I won't get into here, but we were told by Costa on the phone not to worry about it. We made it to yet another security point, upon which this was finally questioned. We then had to wait for an on-board Costa customs person to escort us onboard and get it cleared. This process slowed us down by about 20 more minutes, but at least we got to wait inside in the ship's atrium on deck 3. Muster Drill and Sail away: Muster drill was at 4:00 PM. Despite the 5 languages, it went very smoothly. A first for us was they had children stand in front, then women, then men…I guess chivalry is still alive in Italy! It was kind of strange though because we were separated from DH a little (a bit Titanic-esque for me). The crew had handheld computers with which they checked-in everyone at the muster drill…so, they will know if you do not show up! After muster, we returned life vests to the cabins and went to the deck 9 aft area to meet our fellow Costa Rosta members from Cruise Critic! What a great group of people! We met many of the folks we'd been chatting with on our roll call for quite a while. Michael made beads with Costa Rosta pendants on them for everyone. Most of us wore our Costa Rosta t-shirts, so we were easy to find. We had a meet-and-greet planned for the next morning. Since we had the 5:45 dinner, we didn't hang around too long. This was the first of many memorable times with fellow Cruise Critic roll call members! Love you guys!!! I highly recommend joining your cruise's roll call on Cruise Critic before your trip. Cabins: We were in two cabins, one inside and one outside, on deck 7, very far forward. In fact, our outside cabin is one of the four in the very front, right where the "secret" door is located. This was a handicapped cabin, and was oddly shaped (almost triangular). It had a huge bathroom to accommodate wheelchairs. The cabin was also spacious with plenty of storage space. The two twin beds could not be pushed together to make a queen. The window looked out onto a little-known front deck right under the bridge. We went out often on port days, but not so much on sea days as it was extremely windy! I would not recommend a cabin this far forward if you can avoid it--lots of motion, and too far to walk to most public areas. Why on earth they would put a handicap cabin up there is beyond me. Our second cabin was a standard inside cabin. I found it to be very much on the small side—especially the bathroom! I think the shower in there was about 3 by 3 feet at most. There was, however, ample storage space, and beds made into a queen, as well as a mini-fridge. I don't think I would book an inside cabin for more than 2 people on this class of ship. We have done insides on the older Carnival ships with 3-5 of us together---but would not do that here. The regular outsides and balcony cabins looked a bit more manageable, although I only saw them from the hallway. There were no towel animals. However, there were cookies one night, chocolate mints another night, and a wonderful chocolate Easter egg with a small stuffed animal inside on Good Friday night! What a wonderful surprise. Luggage arrived by 3:00 PM. We unpacked and got ready for muster and sail away. There was plenty of closet, drawer, and under the bed space for storage. You might want to bring extra clothes hangers. Public areas: The Fortuna was immaculate at all times! It was definitely the cleanest ship on which I have been. There was ample deck space if you were willing to look around and were not bent on having a lounger right by the pools. There are nice areas on decks 12 and 13 that are less used and much quieter. We liked Deck 12 forward on the port side (aft of the kiddy pool area). The same deck on the starboard side also had a bar. The buffet areas were large and there were many stations from which to choose, so lines were never very long (practically non-existent lines). Deck nine is where the action is, as well as the outdoor covered tables. The smoking area was on the port side on this deck (as far as outside table seating goes). The Columbo pool on deck 9 aft was completely non-smoking, and the pool and hot tubs were for adults only there. There were plenty of bars, drink stations, and places to get buffet food during the day from 6:00 am until maybe 9:30 pm. Late food was hard to find. You could get pizza until 1:00 am, and they had midnight snacks...no traditional all-out midnight buffets here. I'm pretty sure you could order limited room service all night, but we never did. We used it only for breakfast on three mornings. Inside areas of the ship were beautiful, clean, and varied. There were several areas from which to choose for hanging out at night. If you like music at night, this is your ship! Many opportunities for dancing of any kind, or just listening to a pianist or singers. Many smoking and non-smoking areas were available. Public restrooms were very clean! In my case, I got a bit annoyed at how often they were cleaned because it always seemed to happen when I needed to be in there! Maybe they should have female crew attend to the women's restrooms so passengers could use them while they are being cleaned. I am definitely nitpicking here, so keep that in mind. Also, the restrooms are quite hidden from view…took me a couple days to figure it out. Once you find them, you'll be good. The shops on Deck 5 were a bit annoying with the tables set up outside, causing a bottleneck in that area. The atrium was nice. The Rex Theater was 3 decks tall and seemed to have good views from most places. The dining rooms were each 2 decks and were very nicely laid out and decorated. Getting around could be tricky on decks 3 and 4 because the galley separates the dining rooms. You cannot traverse these decks on the inside from front to back. One just needs to remember to use any other deck to get from front to back—not decks 3 or 4. No big deal. There are three main pools and a kiddy pool area. One pool has a nice water slide. There were 2 hot tubs in the middle and two in the adults-only pool area. There are hot tubs in the spa as well, but we didn't use them. The aft pool also had a retractable roof in case of bad weather. A note about the ship—the largest ship we'd been on prior to this was the Carnival Sensation. That said, this ship was huge! There were several areas I never even got to see. Yes, there are issues on decks 3 and 4 as far as getting from one end to the other, but other than that, navigation was easily done and I knew my way around pretty well by the end of the 2nd day. Also, it is hard to find your family/friends if you do not have exact plans laid out as far as when/where to meet. We found our post-it notes very handy for letting each other know where to find us. It also helped to set up specific meeting times. The food: What can I say but Magnifico!!! This was by far the best food we've had on any cruise. I really don't understand the people who complain about the food on this ship. There is a wide variety, and everything is done pretty much perfectly. The buffets were all over deck 9 and there were many, many different stations to choose from. Salads and fresh fruit were plentiful. The pizza was great. They had steak and chicken on the hamburger/hotdog line!!! The pasta was always the best. One thing we missed was a lack of "free" drink choices. Only iced tea, water, milk, and coffee are available all day. Orange and grapefruit juices were available free only at breakfast (which goes until noon at one of the areas by the way…). Tip: make your own lemonade using lemons (always available) water, and sweetener. Now to the dining room…what a fantastic meal we had every night! Almost everything was excellent. I am one of those evil people who order steaks well done, and I know how hard it is to cook it that way without making it tough. They did an excellent job all around! We had crab legs on the second formal night. They were very good, and had been cut lengthwise in half so there was no need to fuss with the shells. Great fish and seafood choices each night. Soups and salads were excellent, as was the pasta every night! The desserts I tried were average to good. I can see where people might be disappointed with the dessert selection. Many in our group opted for the mousses and sherbets after dinner in the dining room. There is a dessert called Chocolate Delight that is available every night that was delicioso! It was a chocolate mousse covered in a chocolate shell…yummy. If you like Carnival's chocolate melting cake, this is a viable alternative (although not nearly the same). I had the cheesecake one night, which was good. Overall, best dining room dinners we've had on any cruise! Service: Again, service was excellent. Bar servers remembered your preferences fairly quickly. Bar servers on deck were available but non-obtrusive (no "special" drink hawking like on other lines). The buffet areas were well staffed, and tables were cleared relatively quickly. Our cabin stewardess, Anna from the Philippines, was very gracious. They are assigned WAY too many rooms, but do a good job keeping them clean and stocked. We asked to have the fridge emptied on the first day and used it to keep our personal beverages chilled. We also obtained ice for our cooler from Anna the day we went to St. Martin. I liked the system of using a red card on your door for do not disturb, and a green card when you are ready for them to make the beds or do the turndown in the evening. We don't keep regular cabin hours and I think that helped the staff know when it was safe to come in and do their work. Front desk staff was efficient and informative. No wait there ever, and they helped us get extra room keys, printouts of onboard accounts, etc. in a friendly, efficient manner. Photographers were un-obtrusive and professional…they actually made an effort to get several poses on the formal nights with the backdrops. However, it wasn't forced upon you at all times (ports, dinner, everywhere else) as we had experienced on past cruises. Our dining room waiter, Mario and assistant Guillermo (William) were excellent! They did a good job with keeping the courses coming, even though we had a pair of tablemates who were consistently 10-30 minutes late for dinner. The four of us were at a table for 8 with the two couples we knew. Yes, dinner was long (about 1.5 to 2 hours), but it was designed to be done European style. If you can't handle it, eat in the buffet. We had early (5:45) service in the Michelangelo (aft) restaurant. Basically, everything was done with class on this ship. No real complaints here! Entertainment: This is the one area we felt could be improved upon. The shows were just average. DH and our youngest DS went to a variety show one night and said it was just OK. The comedian was funny, but was mostly an impressionist, and his "adult" show was not adult at all. The acrobat show was cancelled due to rough seas (you would think acrobats could handle rough seas). I was disappointed as this was the one show I was really looking forward to. The kids program got mixed reviews from our boys. Our teen had a blast, but the activities were scheduled very late (e.g., disco from 10pm-midnight), and rather sporadically throughout the day. The programs for kids ages 11-13 or so were pretty much non-existent. However, I find this "black hole" on other cruise lines as well—there tends to be better programming for little kids and teens, and not so much for "tweens." However, our son found lots of other boys in his age group to hang out with. They enjoyed the arcade, pools/slide, and playing card games in the card room. Toga night was the last night, and was a lot of fun! Maybe half of the people wore togas. The show that night looked like fun, but I did not stay long as I arrived too late to find a seat, and could not find my friends. The casino was small. The slots were fun, but seemed tight. I did not really notice any big winners there. Same with DH at the blackjack tables. Disembarkation: All good cruises must come to an end. Since we used cash to pay our onboard account, I had to get up early and go pay the piper. You have to be there between 6:00 and 7:30 AM or something like that. It actually went very quickly. They had you take a number and there were chairs, but it honestly took only about 5 minutes. And, I'm happy to say we only owed $101 in addition to what I had already put down at the beginning. We did really good this time! We had yellow luggage tags which meant we were to go to the Rex Theater at 8:30 for debarkation. We got there around 8:40, and they told us we could go ahead and go. So we went to the atrium area of deck 3 and proceeded to follow the line out. The line was long, but it kept moving the whole way through customs and out of the building. We found a spot outside near where we'd been dropped off a week ago, and called our shuttle company. They were there within 10 minutes for the 5 minute drive to the parking facility. All-in-all, a fairly painless debarkation! I could go on and on! In fact, I did go on and on in my review posted on the main Cruise Critic Costa board here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=741915. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
We are two single 39 year old girls from Wisconsin. We flew in on 3/9 and embarkation was a breeze ~ room was ready and cocktails were on hand. Merilyn, our room steward was wonderful and sweet. She learned our routine quickly and never ... Read More
We are two single 39 year old girls from Wisconsin. We flew in on 3/9 and embarkation was a breeze ~ room was ready and cocktails were on hand. Merilyn, our room steward was wonderful and sweet. She learned our routine quickly and never bothered us and the room was always excellent. The passengers were mostly Italian and Portugeuse and Canadian and French. They were LOVELY! I did not encounter one rude Italian! Listening to my fellow passengers speak in French, Spanish and Italian was music to my ears. Every time an Italian lit a cigarette, one was offered. Every time I caught a European's eye, a smile was returned. Every time I approached or retreated from a table, the European's stood. Their children were all lovely and gracious and I was thrilled to be traveling with such a diverse cultural group of people. The only rude people we encountered was a couple from Ohio and a loud American yelling at her children on Magen's Bay. Other than that the people were lovely. The crew were mostly Italian and Spanish and Asian. They, too, were lovely. They learned our names, they went out of their way to be sure we were happy and they taught us to count in their languages. The food was excellent! The pizza and pasta on the buffet was some of the best I've ever had. The restaurant was great as well and the room service was speedy. Every morning they delivered croissants and coffee to our room and they were never, ever late. Puerto Rico was fantastic - we ate in the square at a Middle Eastern restaurant, bought soap from a New Jersey native and drank in the clubs. The live music in the clubs was wonderful. St Thomas was Magen's Bay, breathtaking but crowded. Private island in DR was gorgeous and La Roma was beautiful but dark and quiet. Even though we were warned how could we not leave the ship? We asked the crew for advice on what to do and we took a taxi to the Marina where luxurious yachts were docked, ate the best sushi in the world, outside, overlooking the yachts ($70 for two - sushi, chinese, cocktails, coffee), bought great coffee and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Nassau we had cocktails and beer at Cafe Europa and shopped a bit. We didn't go to any shows and although we looked at the fitness area, and it was lovely, we didn't have time to utilize. My friend had a spa service and was very pleased with her massage and with Argentina, her masseuse, who by the way was so sweet and spoke 7 languages!! The Fortuna was gorgeous, the officers in the smoking lounge were fantastic and taught us about the ship and the stabilizers. El Capitan was very gracious and always had kind words. It was the trip of a lifetime! When in Rome, do as the Romans. If you're not interested in other cultures, aren't willing to embrace all things Italian, and have no sense of adventure, this trip is not for you. Thank you Costa for your gracious hospitality! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
My husband and I were on the Costa Fortuna, Eastern Caribbean itinerary, from March 23 - 30, 2008. This was our 15th cruise and our second with Costa. We are in our 40's, just the two of us traveling. We have previously cruised with ... Read More
My husband and I were on the Costa Fortuna, Eastern Caribbean itinerary, from March 23 - 30, 2008. This was our 15th cruise and our second with Costa. We are in our 40's, just the two of us traveling. We have previously cruised with Carnival, NCL, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Costa. Embarkation: We flew to Ft Lauderdale the morning of the cruise, something we don't normally do, as it makes me nervous! But, no problems on our flight and we arrived at FLL at 12:15pm. We got a cab without much wait, but the traffic to the pier was very heavy because of all the cruise ships that were in that day. We sat in traffic, across from the Fortuna, what seemed like forever, but there was no jumping out of the cab and running across the street with our luggage! Once in the terminal, check-in was fast and efficient. Cabin: We booked the lowest cabin category available (01A) and got a great gift from the upgrade fairy...a balcony!!! Our first ever! We were in 6411, which was slightly back from mid-ship, on the starboard side. Deck 6 was a great location, one deck from all the action on Deck 5, and just a short climb up to Deck 9 for the buffet and the pools. The cabin was a standard size (in standard cruise ship peachy-orange). But, oh, were the balcony and the view glorious! Every time we came into the room, we would stop and sigh, and say how beautiful it was to see the water outside our cabin. And sleeping with the balcony door open was lovely! The sound of the ocean and the waves. Wonderful! Unfortunately, our Cabin Stewardess wasn't the best we've ever had. The room was always clean, but we had towel issues. Some days, no wash clothes. One day, no towels at all, but 5 wash clothes! Costa has blue beach towels at the pool and green beach towels in the room, to take ashore. On our Catalina Island day, we didn't have any green beach towels, so we assumed there would be towels on the chairs at the beach. Wrong! We were supposed to have green towels, but since we didn't, we had to drip dry every time we got out of the water. Our cabin was towards the end of a corridor, so maybe by the time she got to us, she was just exhausted and missed things. Ship: The Fortuna is a beautiful ship. I didn't have any problem navigating it, as it was similar to the Carnival Glory, which we've been on before. Also, at the Welcome Aboard talk, Max, the Cruise Director, gave some hints to get around the ship that we're helpful ("Deck 5 goes all the way from front to back of the ship"). The Fortuna is decorated with drawings of cruising days past. These are large panels that are everywhere: on the walls, in the elevator, on the bathroom doors. I loved the look of the pictures and the feel it gave the ship. However, the public restrooms were a little tricky to locate at first! If you look up, above the door, it's easier to see the symbol for the ladies room, then if you are looking directly on the door. Onboard Activities: We were onboard during Spring Break week, and I have to say, you would never know there were kids onboard if you were at the Adult (aft) Pool. Security was on the ball back there, keeping the kids out of that pool. Also, they enforced the "no drinks in the pool" rule. The kids program must be very popular and busy...and hidden! Really, we hardly saw any kids at all! At the main pool, there were daily dance classes (which we really enjoyed), aerobics, and games. There were arts and crafts and painting sessions at the aft pool that seemed popular and looked fun. We saw t-shirt painting and bead-stringing going on. Great way to create your own souvenir. Regarding chair hogs, I think part of it is a "towel" issue. Costa has beach towels on the chairs in the morning (rolled up), so you are not responsible for a towel that you bring from your room. When you're done, you just through it in a dirty towel bin. But, almost no one did! When people gathered up their things and left the pool area, they just left the towels there. So how can you tell if the chair is being used or not? On other cruise lines, where they charge you if you don't return your towel to the cabin, it's easier to tell when a chair is available or not. Other Passengers: There were many languages being spoken on this cruise! We heard Italian, French, Spanish, German, and oh, some English. Everyone we encountered (including the crew) was very friendly. We even had some 2-languages-at-one time conversations with some folks! It was fun! Toga!: There was a good turn out for our toga night. Less than 50% in the dining room, but almost 100% at the show that night. You looked around and saw a sea of white sheets! If you have late seating, be sure to go right into the Rex Theater as soon as you're done eating in order to get a seat. There is only one show that night, so there are a lot of people trying to get seats. Dining: We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffets every day. For breakfast, we ate at the buffet at the aft pool, as there was never a line. The omelets are made right at the buffet, and there was never a wait. However, if you order a mushroom and cheese omelet, make sure you actually get some cheese in it! Two times I ordered and neither time had cheese! DH had fried eggs two mornings and said they were very good. We ate a lot of pizza and loved it! Never saw the famous "corn" pizza though! Lunch grill had lots of choices (burgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken beast, chicken "burgers") and the food was plentiful. Again, no line at the aft pool buffet. We were second seating in the Raffaello dining room. Food was very good, especially the fish dishes. DH said the beef was a bit dry. Lamb dishes were also good and the pastas were wonderful! Desserts were a bit bland, but who had any room for dessert anyway? Watch your Today for dinner times. It's not the same every night! Sometimes 8:45pm and sometimes 8:30pm. Service was just ok. Our servers had 6 tables that had a total of 28 possible passengers. One 6-top only had 2 people at it every night, except the last one. The waiter took all the orders, for all the tables, at the same time, before he placed any orders. Then all the food came out at the same time, which meant long waits to place your order (first night it was 30 minutes before we ordered), for food and between courses. DH had to ask for iced tea every night, and never got a refill. I drank water and had to ask for a refill every night. A few silly things: There were only 5 pats of butter for our 6-top table at dinner. We could never find salt and pepper on any of the aft pool buffet tables for breakfast or lunch. Ice machines were out of ice most of the day, especially early in the week. Definitely more drink stations are needed at the indoor buffet area and out by the main pool. Photography: We were not impressed with the photos that were taken on this cruise. The shots were either out of focus or over-exposed. But, that kept us from spending too much money in the photo gallery! Speaking of, if you want to find a photo, go the day after it's taken. The gallery is small, with locked glass doors. Once the next set of photos needs to be displayed, all the old photos go into a box. Nothing like going through 3000+ photos to find your shot from formal night! Ports of Call: Our ports of call were San Juan, St. Thomas, Catalina Island and La Romana, DR, and Nassau, Bahamas. San Juan: We arrived in San Juan about 5pm. We were able to get off the ship quickly, with just a short walk down the pier to Old San Juan. We just strolled through the streets and did some shopping. We walked through the casino near the pier, and it was rather small and freezing! Not many folks inside! We were on a quest for a "Channel" purse for a co-worker and there were vendors set up with a number of purses, "Coach" being the most plentiful. Found a great "Channel" and was glad I purchased it in San Juan, as it was a much better quality than any of the other "Channels" I saw at any of our other stops. If you are second seating, there is plenty of time to walk through the shops and still be back in time for your dinner. St. Thomas: We've had many stops in St. Thomas on previous cruises, but have never just been to the beach. So, this time, we decided to go to Sapphire Beach. We got a taxi van right next to the ship. It filled shortly after we arrived and we were on our way. Heavy traffic on the way there, but the driver took some alternate routes and we got there in about 45 minutes. The driver said he would return for us at a set time, but some of the group came out early, and he left early with them. The rest of us got a different taxi, this time an open-air. Had quite the adventure coming back, with the trip taking about 30 minutes. We loved Sapphire Beach and thought it was beautiful. Chair rental was $7 each (credit cards accepted) and there was a restaurant and convenience store as well. At about 2pm, the beach got fairly crowded. I guess that's when all the island tours are finished and everyone gets dropped off at the beach! Catalina Island and La Romana: Catalina Island is a small, essentially deserted island, on which Costa rents a beach. You must tender over and tender tickets are required. That whole process took about 30 minutes, but wasn't really any big deal. There are float rentals right when you get off the tender, plus photographers everywhere taking your picture. The beach was very crowded on that end (near the pier and the lunch buffet), but if you walk down the beach, past the little buildings, it is not nearly as crowded. Also, there is a bathroom on that end that doesn't require a long climb up a hill, and the bars are not too busy. There are massages available on the beach for $1 per minute that are booked in 20 minute increments. Stop by the tent and sign up early, as the times fill up fast. The tent is located right before the "straw market", on the beach side of the walkway. We each had a massage and it was great! We didn't get off the ship at La Romana, as we weren't interested in the Ship's shore excursion show, and there was nothing right at the pier to do. Some table mates got off and took the shuttle and said there was nothing to see (after a 20 minute ride) and it was too dark to see it, even if there was! Nassau: The approach to Nassau is beautiful! The water is an amazing blue and the lighthouse, with Atlantis in the background, very picturesque. It was fascinating to watch the Captain put our big ship in to a little parking spot! We were in Nassau for just a few hours, in the afternoon, so we just walked through the shops and in the Straw Market. Not a lot of bargaining going on there! They seem to have a set amount they will take, and if you try to bargain them down, they just turn their backs on you. Oh well, I already had my "Channel" bag! Spent a little time in Senor Frogs and found a Cuban coffee cafe walking back to the ship. Yum! The Captain: I have never been on a ship where I saw the Captain at any time except the Captain's Cocktail Party. We saw this Captain everywhere! All over the ship, in the dining room, even on the beach at Catalina Island! He was always friendly and spoke to us. Secret Decks: Definitely find these! Just walk all the way forward on Deck 6, 7 or 9 and enjoy the fabulous view, especially when you are pulling into a port. We liked Deck 7 the best, as it was right below the bridge and we could see the Captain. In fact, we became such regulars, that when we went up there for our Nassau arrival, he waved at us! Debarkation: We had a flight at 12:30pm, so we just took our time getting off the ship. Again, breakfast by the aft pool (main buffet had a huge line) and we relaxed pool side until about 9:30. There was a line to get off the ship, but our luggage was retrieved quickly once we got into the terminal. Customs for US citizens was fast, but the line for International Passengers was very long. When we got outside, there was a line for cabs that was 1 ½ hours long! We got on an airport shuttle instead (about a 20 minute wait, $9 per person). Once we got to the airport, we had a 45 minute line to check in with Southwest, 20 minutes to get through Security and 10 minutes wait at the Ladies Room. Wow! Keep this in mind when you are heading to FLL on a Sunday! All in all, we loved this cruise. Were there a few things that could have been a little better? Sure, but it didn't detract from the over-all cruise and vacation experience. I would definitely recommend Costa and hope to be on another Costa cruise in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
My husband, our 11-year old daughter and 9-year old son, and I just returned from the March 30, 2008 sailing of the Costa Fortuna to the Eastern Caribbean. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation. Here is a summary of our trip: EMBARKATION: ... Read More
My husband, our 11-year old daughter and 9-year old son, and I just returned from the March 30, 2008 sailing of the Costa Fortuna to the Eastern Caribbean. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation. Here is a summary of our trip: EMBARKATION: Although there were long lines at the port, they moved relatively quickly, and we were able to board, explore the ship, and find our cabin with relative ease. Upon entering our cabin, we discovered that our family was assigned to the late (8:45 p.m.) dinner seating instead of the main seating that we had requested. Since we are used to eating at 6 p.m. and go to bed fairly early, I attempted to change this. When I found the Maitre'D, I discovered that my family was one of dozens with the same problem. I was told to go to the restaurant at 6 p.m. to see if my family could get a table. When we arrived at the dining room, it was full of people complaining about being reassigned to the late seating. We politely asked to be put on the waiting list (we were #71), and went to the buffet to eat instead, which was fine. Our luggage arrived at our cabin by 9 p.m. CABIN: Our outside cabin was located on the first (lowest) passenger deck. It was extremely clean, and (from what I heard from other frequent cruisers) spacious. It featured a King sized bed, plus two bunks for our children, a small table and chair, dressing table, television, safe, refrigerator/minibar (there was a little space left for us to put water and soda that we brought on board), hair drier, and plenty of closet space. The bathroom was small, but very clean, with plenty of shelves for storage. The first night, our King bed was missing a top sheet, but when we saw our cabin stewardess the next morning, we told her of this, and she fixed the problem right away. Our cabin was, unfortunately, noisy because of a creaking sound in the hull (the seas were rough through most of the trip). I reported the noise to the front desk. They sent a technician to check it within a couple of hours, and we were told that it was just the ship flexing. After a few nights, we got used to the sound. DINING: My family ate all but one meal at the self-service restaurant (buffet), and I have to say that most of the food was fabulous. Breakfast consisted of a wide variety of foods, including eggs, various breakfast meats, fresh pastries, fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, french toast, hot and cold cereal, yogurt, etc. There was also an omelet station. Coffee, tea, juice, milk and water were available to drink. At 11:00 a.m., the grill opened up by the pool, which featured burgers, hot dogs, fries, sandwiches, salads, etc. My kids loved this. The lunch buffet always included pizza, pasta, bread, salads, and dessert, plus it would feature other foods based on the theme of the day (Mexican, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Oriental, etc.). Self-serve soft-serve ice cream was available during the day as well. Although we did not eat in the dining room most nights, I always looked over the menu. I found that many of the dishes featured on the menu were available in the self-service restaurant each evening as well. The food was consistently delicious, especially the Italian specialties (and I'm half Italian!). The pasta dishes tasted homemade, and were always very flavorful. My only disappointment was that many of the desserts were a little bland, although I did have a sfogliatelle (Italian pastry) and cannoli one night that were the best I've ever eaten. Our one experience in the dining room was just okay. Most of the food that we ordered was good, but others at our table were disappointed with their choices, and the service was a little slow. We were much happier with the buffet. ENTERTAINMENT: The Costa Fortuna offered plenty of activities throughout the day to entertain it's guests, from games and dance lessons by the pool, to trivia quizzes, Bingo, Italian Lessons, health and beauty seminars, arts & crafts for adults, and art auctions. I attended a couple of the Italian language classes, which were a lot of fun. My family and our friends with whom we were traveling attended nearly every trivia quiz, and had a blast. My husband and I went to two of the evening shows, and I found the singers and dancers to be very talented and entertaining--I enjoyed both of the shows. Since we go to bed early, we missed a lot of the night life (dancing, contests, comedy shows, etc.), but Costa broadcast some on the television, including the Newlywed and Not-So-Newlywed Game, which was hysterical! PUBLIC AREAS: The public areas (lounges, casinos, etc.) were beautiful; however, my family and I are non-smokers who cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke. The smoking areas were along the perimeters of the rooms, with the non-smoking areas in the middle. It was impossible to separate the two areas, so often the public areas were very smoky. As for the pool areas, we were up early and had no trouble getting lounge chairs. Another great time to lay by the pool is while the ship is at port and many other visitors are on shore. My family took advantage of the waterslide (which was a lot of fun) while most people were on shore at Grand Turk, and it worked out well. The fitness center was amazing. It had state-of-the-art equipment, and there was a trainer who helped explain how to use the machines. There was also a jogging track, tennis court, and basketball court. SQUOK CLUB (KID'S CLUB): This was a big downside to our trip. Our children (ages 9 and 11) did not enjoy the kids club at all. We toured the facility, which was clean and brightly colored. It also featured a small playground set and kiddie pool for younger children. The kids went the the club one morning and were not excited about it. We encouraged them to go that evening with their friends while the adults went to a show, and they check themselves out (they did have permission from us) after 30 minutes. For this reason, I would not recommend this ship to families with children. PORTS OF CALL: We had four ports of call on this trip: San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola, and Grand Turk. My family and I got off the ship at each port, but did not participate in any Costa excursions, although a great variety are offered. Here is a summary of what we did at each stop: SAN JUAN: We walked around the town area near the port, which, in my opinion was very congested and confusing. My husband and daughter toured an historic fort (El Morro, I believe) that was in walking distance of the port. We were there in the evening 5:00-10:00, so we did not spend a lot of time in San Juan. ST. MAARTEN: We took a Water Taxi ($6 per person) to Phillipsburg to shop. There were many, many stores (jewelry, liquor, and linens seemed to dominate), as well as bars and restaurants along the shoreline. There was a small, but clean and pretty beach area where my kids swam as well. TORTOLA: My family and friends took a ferry to Virgin Gorda to see "The Baths." We paid a fraction of the cost of a ship-arranged tour to see the same thing. The baths are an area of beach dominated by huge boulders that were supposedly deposited there during the last Ice Age. There are grottos and beautiful areas for snorkeling, as well as beautiful beaches. I am normally afraid to snorkel, but felt very comfortable in the protected areas formed by the rocks. There were many beautiful fish, crabs, and coral to see. Unfortunately, we had very little time to explore, and would have liked a little more time in Tortola. The area is gorgeous though, and is a must-see for this port of call. GRAND TURK: This was the cleanest port of call. The ocean was absolutely breathtaking. There is a brand new, immaculately clean shopping area built right at the port, as well as a large swimming pool for cruise ship passengers and a beach with plenty of lounge chairs in the sun or shade. Cabanas are available for rent, as well. We spent some time at the beach, which my family enjoyed. Our friends rented a golf cart and toured the island. DISEMBARKATION: Disembarkation went as smoothly as can be expected. There were a lot of people, but again, Costa managed to move us through quickly. Overall, we really had a great week on the Costa Fortuna. It was the cleanest ship we have ever been on, the crew members were fun and friendly, the cabin was great, and the food was spectacular. I would recommend this ship to most people! :) Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
We sailed on Costa Fortuna on 3-23-08. This was our second time on Costa. Our last experience was several years ago and was very good. We can't say the same this time. The food only ranged from bad to fair. Service in the dining ... Read More
We sailed on Costa Fortuna on 3-23-08. This was our second time on Costa. Our last experience was several years ago and was very good. We can't say the same this time. The food only ranged from bad to fair. Service in the dining room ranged from poor to fair. What happened to the days when you didn't have to ask for your water to be refilled.On our last trip on Costa the food was one of the highlights, this time it was barely edible some nights. Most of the desserts tasted the same. We traveled with a group of 11 people and had requested to be seated together. On the first night eight of us had a nice table on the balcony with an ocean view. The other three were on the main floor. After talking with the maitre d we were moved on the second night. We now had a noisy table next to the wait station and the other half of our party was around the corner (out of view). We paid extra money for a cabin that had a kingsize bed. When we arrived at our cabin we had a SMALL cabin with bunkbeds. We were told that the ship was sold out and they would have a cot sent to our cabin. The cabin was so small that the cot would not fit. I had to take the mattress off the top bunk and sleep on the floor. At 10:00PM on the 4th night we were moved to a cabin with a kingsize bed. The next night in the dining room people told us that there was several empty cabins around them the entire cruise. Both of our cabin stewards were great (for to different cabins). At 7:00AM they were out there working (I don't know what time they started) many times our cabin wasn't cleaned until after lunch. They didn't seem to finish the morning cleaning until 3:00PM. They started the evening cleaning at 5:00PM and didn't finish until 11:00PM. It appeared the had far to many cabins to clean. Our luggage didn't arrive at our cabin until after dinner. That is the first time that has ever happened to us. At check in on the dock the baggage handlers were very rude. The shuttle bus driver dropped us off and talked to the baggage handler. He always seemed to have something else to do. We ended up having to take care of our own luggage. There was very little to do on board. You would go to scheduled events and sometimes they only lasted 5 minutes. They entertainment was poor. Everyone is not over 80 and likes piano and violin music at the bar. A member of our group was treated deplorably by the casino staff. They wanted him to give back his winnings because of a casino error. The sad part is he lost far more than he won. Costa tries to get you not to go on shore at the night time stop in the Dominion Republic. They only want you to go to a show that they get a kick back on. They town itself didn't appear safe at night in some places. There is a free shuttle service to a new casino that we enjoyed very much. Everyone won and the service was great. Drinks are on the house if you are gambling. We are cruising again in September as we love to cruise, But never again on Costa. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
This was our first cruise so we don't have anything to compare it to. We went on this cruise with open minds. Overall a great time. Getting on the boat was busy but well organized. We didn't get to our cabin till noon and it ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we don't have anything to compare it to. We went on this cruise with open minds. Overall a great time. Getting on the boat was busy but well organized. We didn't get to our cabin till noon and it was ready. Our luggage was another 2 hours or so. Our recommendation is to put sunscreen and your bathing suit into the bags you carry on the ship. We got burnt on the first day. Silly Canadians. Our cabin boy "etiquio" was fantastic. He seemed to have our names memorized before we showed up. He took great care of everything. All announcements made on board were done in 5 or 6 different languages. The food in the main restaurants was very good. No temperature issues like some other reviewers. The wait staff was a little less attentive and less personable than we would have expected. Drinks and water were very slow. We were seated in the Rafaelle room early seating. We sat with a couple from Norway and NY and had a great time. The buffet when we went for breakfast or supper was never fantastic, just ok. Most of the food was warm but not hot. Same goes for the breakfast buffet. The choice of fruit was good at the buffet. One thing we did notice,being Canadians was the freedom of being allowed to smoke indoors in some of the lounges and casinos. Not sure if all cruise lines allow this but something to be aware of. Now let me speak about that orange juice. I love my orange juice, and it deserves a whole paragraph....COSTA TAKE NOTE....LOL The first time I went to the machine I thought I got the wrong stuff. It was almost drinkable but I thought it was some kind of punch mixture. Over the next few days it became a joke. "Would you like some orange juice sweety???" That stuff was much worse than no name from concentrate. It tasted like unsweetened dishwater with citrus cleaner in it. IF you don't drink alot, like me, get the "kids non-alcoholic coupons" You can get virgin daiquiris etc. for much cheaper that way. To avoid paying for drinks, your choices are really just unsweetened iced tea, water from the machine, milk from the cereal area, coffee, tea and and that pond water ala citrus we discussed earlier. There were lots of choices of Latin dancing and ballroom in a few of the lounges. Nothing particularly modern with regards to music. However we never hit the disco because it was close to March break and there was a fair amount of teenagers on the cruise and they had a few hours reserved for them at the disco every night. We were impressed with the overall ship and it was always being cleaned. The ship layout does make it a little confusing when trying to get from A to B. The entertainment was very good-night and day. The shows were very impressive. The comedy was very good for all ages, although a couple at our table stayed on for the western trip the next week and said all the shows were the same. So be warned if you are going for two weeks they will repeat. Seemed to have a good club for children called Squok club with about 20 crew members dedicated to kids programs. We didn't have kids on the cruise, but judging by the activities we saw for them, it looked like they kept them entertained for quite some time(so mom and dad could have some alone time) In Jamaica (Ocho Rios) we did the Dunns River Falls,but beware, there are usually a few excursions there at the same time so the time they say it will take to climb the Falls.....triple it due to crowds of people going up at the same time. The second part of our excursion was snorkeling,but it was in a dull area. 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman-nice port,beautiful beach! GET AN UMBRELLA as soon as you get there if you can rent one. Wow....that sun. Was not alot of shade around the beach area. We went to the Best Western part of seven mile beach. The Beach at Turks and Caicos was absolutely beautiful. Lots of chairs to use on the beach and at Margaritaville there are pools and chairs for you to use as well(all free of charge).Plenty of conch shells scattered along to sand to see. Back to the boat- Deck chair mayhem....Early in the morning this is what seems to happen. People get up. Put book, shoes, towels on chair. Go back to bed. All chairs reserved (although this is not supposed to happen) by 7:30-8:00am....Good luck. Overall we would go on Costa again-no real reason why we wouldn't, but I think we would like to try other cruise lines first to compare. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
I just returned from the Western Caribbean on the Costa Fortuna and was disappointed. I have taken cruises before on RC, and Costa does not measure up. Maybe I was naive thinking a European cruise line was the same, but the service was ... Read More
I just returned from the Western Caribbean on the Costa Fortuna and was disappointed. I have taken cruises before on RC, and Costa does not measure up. Maybe I was naive thinking a European cruise line was the same, but the service was poor in many areas. I will start with the room which was very clean and comfortable, although getting a wash cloth was almost impossible. We asked everyday and finally resorted to taking them off the cart ourselves. The ship needs some upgrading but everything was clean. The dining experience was terrible. Aside from the Italian dishes, most of the food was cold and unimaginative. The steak was always cooked the same - medium - no matter what you requested. Getting any condiments was impossible. One night we had baked potatoes and waited over 10 minutes for sour cream. I ordered a drink and waited 45 minutes, even after I asked twice where it was. The desserts were only so-so. The buffet was good and bad, depending on the time of day. Going to the dining room for breakfast was fast and tasty, by far the best meal of the day. The entertainment was very good, but you better enjoy Italian music. One of the most annoying parts was having the crew not speak English. One day I went to a "quiz" where the crew member could barely speak English, and she was harassing a group of elderly Americans who could not understand her speaking. This happened more than once where the crew was rude to Americans. The islands were great - Grand Turk being my favorite. We only did a couple of shore excursions and they were fun. Overall I had a good time, but would not sail Costa again. 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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