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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Costa Fortuna Cruise max passenger capacity is 3,200 and thus not that huge to handle with around 1,100 crew members. Ship layout easy to understand and staff very easy to handle your technical or hospitality issues. 98% of the crew do ... Read More
Costa Fortuna Cruise max passenger capacity is 3,200 and thus not that huge to handle with around 1,100 crew members. Ship layout easy to understand and staff very easy to handle your technical or hospitality issues. 98% of the crew do their job with love and passion and are well trained to handle difficult demanding passengers . I recommend 1 crew from the bar Vietnamese Ngoc Tuan Vo . The food variety is truly huge with beef turkey fish pastas salads fruits . Their deserts are poor . Healthy and vegetarian options available too . Spa is very overpriced . The many jacuzzi are the best most powerful you can imagine. Clean and hygienic too . Pools with waves are interesting. Slide always closed despite good weather . Passengers onboard are polite and understand the rules . Internet connection is ok , especially with the cheap package" social internet package ". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was quit apprehensive after booking for this cruise which fitted well with my schedule after having read some not so nice reviews. All these were dispelled after completing this cruise.I juz can't find any disappointment with this ... Read More
I was quit apprehensive after booking for this cruise which fitted well with my schedule after having read some not so nice reviews. All these were dispelled after completing this cruise.I juz can't find any disappointment with this trip except the embarkation process took slightly more than 2 hrs and some younger waiters were inexperienced during the breakfasts served in thr dining room. The ship had a very capable and hospitable crew though at times, it was difficult to communicate because of language problems. The food was good and more than sufficient which were served at my table. My room was exceedingly spacious and comfortable. The entertainment each evening was spontaneous, professional and exciting. I would however, appreciate if free water could be served for those having their dinners at Raffalelo and Michelangelo. I am glad that I have chosen this cruise. i will definitely participate in costa cruises again if my schedule permits Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Having read previous reviews of the Costa Fortuna and the Norwegian fjords cruise we had doubts and low expectations of the ship and the itinerary. However, we were very happy that everything was far beyond our expectations. We had ... Read More
Having read previous reviews of the Costa Fortuna and the Norwegian fjords cruise we had doubts and low expectations of the ship and the itinerary. However, we were very happy that everything was far beyond our expectations. We had previously been on a Carnival Line Caribbean cruise so we did not know what we would experience from an Italian line. However, we had a large and confortable cabin (2nd Deck) with ample wardrobe space; the food was excellent both at the buffet and in the dining room; the staff were friendly; service excellent and the entertainment varied and enjoyable. We took 5 excursions, which, despite the very cold and inclement weather,were generally good. We heartily recommend this cruise, which has a distinctly European flavour, and woulkd go on this line again, despite the saying "Costa Fortuna - costs you a fortune!) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Having just returned to Dover from Savona on our latest cruise my wife and I found that the noise from the groups playing in the main entertainment area' s was to loud also the atrium bar was also rather loud from the male ... Read More
Having just returned to Dover from Savona on our latest cruise my wife and I found that the noise from the groups playing in the main entertainment area' s was to loud also the atrium bar was also rather loud from the male pianist/singer, their is no where on the ship to listen to quiet music whilst enjoying an after dinner drink. The service in the restaurants was taking two hour's or more to serve dinner up to 45 mins for the first course. The entertainment was excellent in the theatre and the cabin service was also very good, the organisation getting on and off the ship was quick. The service in the bars was excellent and courteous. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We recently took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna in Eastern Europe. We chose the Costa cruise line simply because we had no other choices as we had specific dates we could travel in August. We departed from Copenhaugen and made port at ... Read More
We recently took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna in Eastern Europe. We chose the Costa cruise line simply because we had no other choices as we had specific dates we could travel in August. We departed from Copenhaugen and made port at Stockholm, Sweden, Tallin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Warnemunde, Germany. From Germany we returned to Copenhaugen. This was my family’s fourth cruise. We had been on three cruises prior to this one: a Carnival (Caribbean islands) cruise and two Holland American cruises (Caribbean islands and Alaska). We found the Carnival cruise line to be a party boat with lots of loud music and partying passengers. Our cruise with Carnival also happened to be over spring break so maybe that would have been the norm for any cruise and not specific to this boat. For my wife and two pre-teen children, however, this was not our cup of tea. We had a great experience on both of our Holland American cruises and this set the bar for all of our expectations of a cruise experience. On Holland American the boats were exceptionally clean and well maintained, all crew members were exceptionally friendly and the food choices and quality were excellent. Overall, we felt that we got what we paid for on the Holland American line and when considering a cruise, we seek them out first. Now on to our recent cruise on the Costa Fortuna. My wife reviewed a number of blogs regarding this cruise line and this ship. We were particularly interested in learning about this cruise line in view of what happened on the Costa Concordia. Most of the blogs were fairly neutral, though some warned that the cruise clientele would primarily be European and less friendly in regards to our American expectations. Furthermore, we were warned of the expensive beverage policy on the boat, which proved to be quite correct. I’ll start with the ship itself. Overall the boat was exceptionally clean and mostly well maintained. There was an ice dispenser that was out of service for most of the cruise, though there was a cooler of ice adjacent to it so we were never without access to ice during meals. There was also a window that had been broken in the outdoor dining area of deck 9, but it had been covered over by a piece of fabric which hid the problem quite nicely. Otherwise, the entire boat seemed to be very clean and well maintained. Regarding the ship’s décor, some in the blogs described it as distasteful and gaudy. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the décor seemed mismatched, such as the backlit glass panes with blobs of green and blue tint above the warm colored inlaid wood panels, or the columns of blue and red splotches mixed in the areas with the warm wood panels. In my opinion it was not objectionable. While some of the color palates seemed mismatched, the colors and panels were not faded, the paint was good and there were no scratches, scrapes or other signs of wear. Furthermore, related to the décor, I’m much more interested in cleanliness, service and food quality. The service we experienced on the ship overall was very good. Our room steward was friendly and very eager to assist us. He kept our room very neat and clean and always made sure we had ice. On all three of our previous cruises our room steward left towels on our beds in the shape of animals, but this room steward did not do this. We learned from other passengers on this cruise that there were stewards on our ship who did provide this nice touch, but ours was not one of them. Not a big deal… One down side to our room service was that there seemed to be a lot of service carts and service supplies in the hallway for most of the day and evening. I don’t recall this from any of our other cruises. Regarding our rooms, we had an exterior room with a veranda as well as an interior room. There was only one electrical outlet in each room by the vanity. It would accept a standard (American) 110 volt plug. I think that it was 110 volts, but all the chargers we brought would work with 110 or 220 volts (look on your wall wart/power supply: the input parameters are printed in fine print on the back). Most modern electrical computer or communications devices will work with 110 or 220 volts, but check out your device before plugging in to a foreign outlet. Here’s a travel tip: bring a small power strip. We had more accessories that needed to be charged than we had outlets (iPads, iPhones, laptops, etc.). Another tip: the outlet in the bathroom can be used to charge a phone or a tablet, but it is only energized when the light is on, so don’t plug into it at night and then turn the light off, as the light switch kills the power to the outlet, too. Our room also had a small refrigerator, which was nice. It was stocked with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (no diet drinks) and candies, but we did not consume any. Based on the excessive charges of all the other amenities, I’m guessing that the pricing structure of the refrigerated items was exorbitant. Our bed was two twin mattresses put together to form a king size bed. The mattress was a foam material about 8 inches thick that I would equate to a futon mattress. My wife and kids had no complaints, but I found it to be too firm and uncomfortable. There were no box springs under the mattress and the bed was on legs, so there was plenty of storage space under the beds, which was a big plus. Regarding storage space, our room had three closets with ample hang up space in two of them; the third had shelves. There were also two sets of drawers/cabinets in the room. In addition, there were also two hooks on the bathroom door as well as the bedroom wall for hanging items. Another tip is to bring coat hangers! One closet had 6 hangers and one had 8 though there was plenty more hang up space in each closet. The room also had a small safe, which was nice. It operated by swiping your Costa Card. I guess my only question here was that if our room steward had access to our room with his master card key, is it possible that he would have access to the safe, too? I don’t know… The room came equipped with a color television. We only saw two English language stations, but my view is that if you are on a cruise you shouldn’t be in the room watching TV! When we were in the room, it was nice to have the channel on with the bow and stern cameras. This channel also had classical music. We had internet access pretty much everywhere on the ship where we tried it, but it was VERY expensive and VERY slow. In most of the hotels I frequent in the U.S. it is generally free, and if I do have to pay for it, it is typically about $15 U.S. per day (24 hours). Not so on the Cost-a-Fortuna! Here internet service is .50 euros per minute. They also had a rate for 20 or 30 minutes, but it was equally expensive. Based on the extra slow speed of the internet service, you might be able to download and reply to about four emails in 20 minutes. If you cruise on this line, don’t plan on getting a lot of work done if it requires a lot of internet connectivity. One of the blogs we read spoke of the multiple public address (PA) pages that were disruptive in the rooms. We had PA speakers in our rooms and bathrooms but we never heard anything broadcast over them. Instead, we heard the pages through the PA speakers in the hallway (which were plenty loud). All pages were given in 5 languages, so they would last several minutes. There were only two or three pages through out the day. I’m not sure if our in-room PA speakers were disabled by the person making the announcements, attenuated in the room by a control knob somewhere, or just plain didn’t work. Either way we could hear the announcements just fine and they were not excessive. The food on this trip was average at best, regardless of the time of day. Again, I think that we were spoiled on our Holland America cruises where the food was excellent and the variety was fantastic at every meal and in-between. For breakfast there was the standard fare that one would expect; a variety of breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, pastries, etc. Each morning I had an omlette made to order. The omlette chef tended to have a poor disposition. He was also skimpy with the omlette ingredients. My son joked that he would dip the spoon into each of the ingredients and whatever stuck to it was what he would put into the omlette. My observation was that maybe the ingredients he used were deducted from his paycheck. Regardless, the food was well prepared and tasty, though light on the ingredients. This particular chef was replaced by mid cruise; not sure why but we were glad. I have to add here that we were spoiled on Holland America with eggs benedict and eggs Florentine every day; no such dishes on the Costa Fortuna... Lunches at the buffet on Deck 9 were good. The hamburger/hot dog bar was great. On occasion there was sushi, which was good (we had it every day on Holland America). At the salad bar the standard dressings were Italian, French and Thousand Island. On one occasion I saw and sampled a very runny Caesar salad dressing. As an American, I’m accustomed to having the options for bleu cheese and Ranch, but these were typically not available. We did have the choice of bleu cheese dressing the last night in the dinning room. We dined each evening the Michelangelo Dining Room on Decks 3 and 4. Our waiters were attentive and engaging and our table was next to the windows at the stern of the ship, which was very nice. Again, we’ve had waiters on other cruises that did magic tricks or food service tricks (like pulling a cork from inside a wine bottle with just a napkin) but no extras here other than good service. The food choices were good and the food was average to good. There was always a good variety; seafood, mammal meat (beef, venison, etc.), poultry and a vegetarian dish. Serving sizes were somewhat small, but one could order as many dishes as one pleased, so quantity was never an issue. Hot dishes were warm and cold dishes were cold. The deserts were generally average, but the ice cream was really good (especially the strawberry)! Probably our biggest issue with this cruise line is their beverage policy. At our first dinner we paid 46 euros for a bottle of wine and a liter of bottled water for dinner. They DO NOT serve ANY free beverages (including water) in the formal dining rooms! We then learned that they have beverage “packages”, and to save money we would need to buy a package. We bought the smallest wine and water package for 99 euros. This package included (4) 750ml bottles of wine and 7 liters of water, which we felt was fine for our family of four. I thought that I could apply our 46 euro bottle of wine and water to this “package” after the fact, but was told that the wine we bought was a “premium” wine (and one liter as opposed to 750 ml) and that they could not apply it to our 99 Euro package. We kind of felt like we had been taken. To facilitate our hydration and in protest of their beverage policy, we always took our empty liter water bottles from dinner and filled them at the buffet so we would have water for the day. The only free water we saw on the ship (water fountains) was in the gym. Also note that there are signs at the water vending area of the restaurants that ask that you do not fill water bottles there. We would fill up glasses and then do the transfers into our liter containers at our table to get around this. We were told not to drink the tap water in the bathrooms, though it was OK to brush teeth with that water. As a side note, if your kids are addicted to pop it will cost you. The soda water package provided 20 carbonated beverages for several dollars per beverage… what a bargain! There also is no free pop at the buffet: only water, tea, coffee and milk. The gym was fairly spacious, very clean and well maintained, and it had plenty of equipment. Furthermore, the week that we were aboard I never saw an “out of service” sign on any piece of equipment, which is rare in any gym! The dressing and shower area was well maintained and spotless. We did not sample any of the numerous spa services. We attended three of the nightly shows. The first one was moderately entertaining. The sound system for the music and singers was very anemic. All the sound came from behind the stage. Normally in a venue like this, one expects a fuller sound system that can fill the entire auditorium. This sound system sounded like the ones used by cheap high school DJs. One the third night there was a talent review using talent from the ship’s staff. It was actually pretty good despite the fact that it was amateur talent. The last night featured singers performing covers of great musical artists, and they were all pretty good and entertaining. We went on Costa-sponsored shore excursions in Stockholm, St. Petersburg and Germany. The tours were all excellent in terms of the places we visited and the quality of our tour guides. We felt like they were all good values for the money they cost. As a side note, on our Holland America cruise to Alaska, we felt like all of the excursions were a terrible value for what they cost, but everything in Alaska was expensive. In Sweden we first visited the Royal Palace, which was an interesting fact-filled tour and well worth our time. Then we had a short time for touring the old city square on our own and lunch on our own. In the old town square we visited the Nobel Museum, which I would give low marks as it was not very well organized an it was very expensive. We had a light lunch there, which was very good. The museum was not a good value for what we spent on it. Also we did not have the time require to really see all of the exhibits. We watched part of the Changing of the Guard at the Palace, and then took, a quick tour of the cathedral next to the Palace, which was very beautiful and ornate and well worth the price of the suggested admission. They did not take dollars but did take credit cards. After lunch we got back on the bus and went to the City Hall where we bought three T-shirts and a 4 bottles for about $100! Be wary of the gift shop pricing! Next we went to the Vasa Ship Museum, which was great. We had a little less than and hour there, which was far too little time to see it all. We could have easily spent half of the day (or more) there. I highly recommend it. In Tallin, Estonia, we decided to self-tour, which was a huge mistake! The streets were VERY poorly marked and with overcast skies it was difficult to get an orientation on our bearings. We ended up buying tickets on the Red Tour Bus, which allowed us to do a driving tour or the whole city in the hour we had left. As this is a get on/get off, narrated tour, this was an excellent investment of our time and what we should have done once we first got off the ship. There are three different tour routes, and between the three routes one can pretty much see the entire city and surrounding area. The only down side to this bus tour was that the bus stopped to let some people off (and we followed) and we returned to that “stop” after touring our site, only to later learn through a helpful local, that the actual bus stop was 200 yards away and no bus would stop where we were waiting. Furthermore, the drive spoke very poor English and unintentionally misdirected us at that particular stop. Traveler’s Tip: Only wait at the marked Bus Stops! In St. Petersburg, Russia, we took the Hermitage and Palace tour. Our guide was very good. His English was great and his knowledge of the places we visited and the tricks of the trade (which entrances and routes were best based on time of day) were very good. I was amazed at the huge masses of people at all the tourist sites we visited and the lack of order. Fortunately we had a good and aggressive guide who could get us through the log jams. The Winter Palace Hermitage was the palace constructed for Catherine the Great in 1764 and was room after room after gaudy, gold leaf adorned room full of artwork. If you are an art fan, this is your place! There was little time to stop and really ponder and appreciate the artwork, but we did see a very large number of paintings by Rembrandt, Da Vinci and other famous artists. If you are not a huge art fan or person interested in classical architecture, then skip this tour because this is most of what you will see (along with hundreds of other noisy, pushy tourists). Our lunch was an excellent four-course meal served in an old palace-turned office building. The meal was very good and included the obligatory shot of vodka and glass of sparkling wine (as well as bottled water). A young man played piano for the first part of the meal, which was very nice. After lunch we toured the very ornate church in the Peter-Paul Fortress and saw the tombs of the Romanov family as well as other famous Russian Royals. Here the crowd control was most needed, as there was a huge mob of tour groups trying to enter at the same time. The cathedral was absolutely beautiful but hard to take in given our short time there and the pressing crowds. I might also add that flash photography and the use of a camera tripod are prohibited here. Next we drove to an old cathedral with brightly colored spires and turrets. We were not able to go into it. Our bus parked on the street and our guide escorted us to the “perfect place” from which to photograph the cathedral (his wife is a photographer). He was right about the spot. Our next stop was a tourist shop where there was a huge variety of very expensive tourist trinkets as well as free vodka shots and coffee and clean rest rooms. We got back to the boat thirty minutes late, but found that there were still busses that were behind us, so it wasn’t a big deal. Apparently this is the norm in Russia. Clearing customs was a snap and we headed back to the boat. Overall, I would say we had a very good experience on the Costa Fortuna. With the exception of the beverage policy and internet service, I would say that this was a good ship and a good value.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We arrived at the port at 1230 to find that the earliest time boarding could take place was 1500 and we were told that we were lucky as we were really not due to board until 2000!! The conditions at the embarkation point were very poor and ... Read More
We arrived at the port at 1230 to find that the earliest time boarding could take place was 1500 and we were told that we were lucky as we were really not due to board until 2000!! The conditions at the embarkation point were very poor and most people were standing for over 2 hours as there were very few seats. It was a total ‘free for all’ when boarding commenced. No order or priority on arrival time. I have never experienced anything like it. When we did get on board we were told that NO cabins would be ready before 2000. I have never know this on any other ship. Usually availability of staterooms is phased and announced. It seems ridiculous for everyone to have to wait until 2000. Some people had been travelling all night and had been at the port since very early in the morning. The weather was good to sit on deck but there were no towels for the sunbeds as these are supplied in the staterooms so the waiting was not comfortable. Food was available in the buffet and it was adequate. We had booked first sitting for dinner as we had been told sittings were 1900 or 2100. However, it turns out the sittings are 1800 and 2030 which makes a big difference. We were lucky to be able to change to 2nd sitting as 1800 is really too early. The ship is looking dated and in need of refurbishment but there was nothing fundamentally wrong with it. The food wasn’t fantastic but again nothing wrong with it. The crew were all delightful, friendly, helpful and professional. We did not experience any language problems. The ship was clean and our suite was spacious and well equipped. We may have been lucky having a suite as we met 2 ladies who had a dreadful time in an inside cabin and were totally frustrated by the lack of response from customer service. The 4 trips we went on were well organised, interesting and value for money. The evening theatre entertainment was superb. The drinks package was very good value although it could be made more clear that bottles of water are not included and they are expensive. We were able to obtain drinks easily whenever we wanted them. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on Costa Fortuna, the only downside really being that the ship is old and it shows but having cruised with Cunard, NCL and Princess (which were all much more modern ships and the food was better) I would certainly cruise with Costa again and I am at a loss to understand some of the adverse comments about the Fortuna on the reviews.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Cruise from Santos (Brazil) to Venice (Italy) in 23 days (including flights from Europe) on board the COSTA FORTUNA, a large ship of 102,000 tons with a capacity of 3,200 passengers launched in 2003. On this trip, we were about 2,300 ... Read More
Cruise from Santos (Brazil) to Venice (Italy) in 23 days (including flights from Europe) on board the COSTA FORTUNA, a large ship of 102,000 tons with a capacity of 3,200 passengers launched in 2003. On this trip, we were about 2,300 passengers on board. We are a French Canadian couple and traveled with our close friends, a couple living in Paris. Because of the world media attention regarding the circumstances of the tragic wreck that befell the COSTA CONCORDIA and then of another COSTA liner in the Indian Ocean that ended up being towed to the Seychelles Islands, some friends were actually concerned that the writer and his spouse were going to spend over three weeks on board the COSTA FORTUNA. There were many e-mails with humorous advise, the most common being to follow the captain as he was sure to get out of the ship safely...! This was no joke for some people; on the first day at the lifeboat drill while talking to another passenger, this reviewer was told that a couple of his friends had cancelled their cruise and were quite willing to loose half of its cost. There were no such fears on our part. Before leaving however, our friends teased us with a great deal of joking about: 1) navigating near the coast, 2) if our captain was a happy-go-lucky playboy like his (former) colleague, 3) to be sure to follow the captain in an emergency as he would be safe, and so on. One thing for sure, the regrettable incidents noted above were (and remained) on people's minds. COSTA thus has an enormous challenge to restore its image as a credible cruise company. Negative points: Internet access is an outright "King's Ransom" by these later day web buccaneers of the High Seas. For the princely sums of $10 for one (1) hour or $24 for three (3) hours, you can check your e-mails, etc. The only respite is logging in just to take your messages and log out. But even then, they have it figured out; this is not High Speed broadband but some "dialup" that seems to date from the days of Alexander Graham Bell. One night, out at sea between the Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, 16 messages took over 20 minutes to come in...! This is a 21st century version of extracting booty from unwilling and helpless hostages, when one thinks that, in my country, a month's broadband service is cheaper than six hours on board the appropriately named COSTA FORTUNA. Fortuna indeed! While the COSTA FORTUNA is very nicely appointed, one wonders about the management of some of the furniture upon which the passengers sit. 1) The bench-like arrangement in the dining areas, at least those sat upon, were invariably sinking one's bottom alarmingly low; this can be a real and painful experience for the more elderly who have backbone, sciatic nerves and kneecap pains. 2) Two chair's whose wooden armrests were broken and detached themselves were noted on deck 3, Buenos Aires hall. It is surprising that these "health and safety" issues are not attended to. Having a suitable dining table can be an experience... In our case, our two couples had: 1) a table at the other end of the ship at the late second service whereas a table at the restaurant almost next to our rooms and at an earlier service was, for various mobility and medical reasons, preferable. 2) Having obtained table 22 at the Michelangelo Restaurant nearby soon proved to be the coldest frigid air spot on the ship as well a being rather minuscule. Staff told the writer that no one wanted to sit there and directed us to the Maitre D who was under assault by a horde of dissatisfied clients. 3) At length, another table was assigned, consisting of benches under a stairway, which now proved unsuitable when one of us, who has serious back problems and mobility issues, could only rise with great effort and much pain from this unholy bench of penance. Even the staff, kind as always, was alarmed at seeing him gasp in agony as he grasped the wall panels and the Maitre D quickly assigned another table for the next night's diner. On the 4th try, this simple but welcomed round table with chairs proved to be relatively suitable, but it was noisy around and conversation difficult. Our kindly waiter eventually solved the difficulty by putting us at another free nearby table, the 5th and last after a week and a half of diligent efforts. The daily "Today" newsletter that listed the next day's activities was always delivered rather late on the COSTA CONCORDIA, usually at about 10 pm or so. This was annoying because it either prevented us to plan activities with our traveling companions for the next day, or else made it a late night affair. It would be very helpful if it could show up earlier, as has been our experience on past cruises. On Thursday March 29, the daily "Today" day's program announced that N. Carta Llenas, international singer, would be giving a representation at the "Rex Theatre", but when we got there, we were turned back, rather rudely I would say, by what seemed to be an enormous "bouncer" telling us that there was a cocktail for the German passengers instead. Why was this not announced in the "Today" for the information of passengers? The COSTA Tours were, well, an expensive mixed bag. The buses were comfortable and the guides adequate. However, nearly every tour in Brazil took us to the "world's most beautiful beach" and to a handicraft market whose offerings seemed usually similar at every stop. (Hence this reviewer's theory that there exists somewhere a huge factory for these items...). It was frustrating to be whisked rather quickly through the lovely historic quarters of Salvador de Bahia and Olinda (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) only to be deposited two (frustrating) hours in a beach restaurant at Salvador's outskirts and to a prison turned into craft market at Recife, thus missing the intensely unusual and interesting 17th century Dutch forts in that city. Beaches and handicraft markets don't have entry fees so that COSTA Tours' greed was proven considering a museum entry rarely exceeded $5. In fairness, it must be said that the tour of Salvador seemed somewhat better. The tours averaged $200 to $300 for four people, which was ridiculously expensive for hours at beaches and old prisons turned into doubtful crafts markets. We had regrettably reserved COSTA Tours in advance for stops in Brazil, but gave up on the COSTA Tours as not offering value for the money paid and took taxis at European ports, which proved to be much cheaper and far more enjoyable. Indeed, there seemed to have been a "passenger revolt" of sorts once we reached Europe. A tour of Malaga was suddenly offered at $39, which was still a waste since one could walk there in 15 minutes. Few must have "bitten" because tour buses at the ship were few. On the other hand, Costa now charged $7 for shuttle buses that were previously free... Always expect a new twist with those tour buccaneers! To top it off, stops in Malta and Corfu were only a few hours and, in Dubrovnik, passengers were landed at about 10 am, which left roughly two hours in that lovely place before heading back to the ship. It proved to be impossible to find shaving cream, shoelaces or a cord for securing one's eyeglasses in this 102,000 tons ship. This in spite many shops within selling eyeglasses, perfumes, purses and every imaginable souvenir trinket and jewellery. The ship's minuscule "library" is woefully short of books. There were hundreds of passengers from France as well some from Quebec to share about 30 or so books their native language! The situation did not seem very hopeful for other languages, not even English. There were some nice hardcover books, most about COSTAs glory days, but these could not be loaned and read in one's cabin. So...bring your own books or iPad with previously downloaded books, etc. Being "nickeled and dimed" to death is a disagreeable, but seemingly inescapable feature of life on a cruise ship. However, thanks to these later-day buccaneers, a peak of sorts was reached by the offer to visit the ship's machinery, command deck, kitchens, etc. for a mere $69 per person (or $138 per couple)! Certainly something that should be offered for free to passengers who, after all, paid several thousand dollars each to be on board. A kitchen tour was later offered free, but for a "limited number" of passengers... The food was generally all right, but cannot be rated as outstanding for cruise ships. Some Canadian and British passengers told this writer they ate better on CARNIVAL cruises in the West Indies where such things as good smoked salmon and shrimps were always offered at buffets. A German passenger confided much the same from his recent cruise experience in other lines. Recollections of our own previous three-week cruise to the Tierra del Fuego on the COSTA ROMANTICA bears this out. It does not seem the chefs and their staff are unable to present a good fare; the root of the faults was that some of the "upper notch" ingredients were not as readily available, presumably because of budget restrictions. Thus the old adage that one eats better on a COSTA ship because of its Italian origin seems, sadly, no longer true. The ventures into French cuisine were disappointing. One night the menu proclaimed "confit de canard" which turned out to be a dentures-defying affair that also should have been served sliced; the "crepes Suzette" were, at our table, as good as thin cardboard; a cup of orange sorbet was strangely reminiscent of the "Tang" American powdered drink and the "Poire Helène" while made with decent ice cream, did not seem to have much in common with Chef Auguste Escoffier's inventive recipe. The writer did mention duck "confit" to the Matre D when asked how the food was. On the whole, the Italian dishes usually were the better ones on the COSTA FORTUNA, at least the for pasta dishes and the pizza was also always a good simple fare. The evening meals of the last three or four days were noticeably better... The wine list was not outstanding, but decent with, as expected, a varied offering of Italian wines. Regrettably, they were overpriced and certainly not in line with the recent price tumbles of many European wines due to market conditions and of the Euro's devaluation versus the dollar (US and Canadian). While the writer and his spouse were once active in wine societies, they are not addicted to overpriced wines and were quite happy to drink water instead, especially as the food did not usually create an overwhelming desire to order wine. Had the wine been more reasonably priced and the quality of the dishes proposed more predictable, we would have been pleased to spend our money. The COSTA training schools might devote more time to basic proper service of wine. One night, our most kindly, but obviously insufficiently trained waiters, brought half of a remaining bottle of white wine warm and, rather than put it in a bucket with ice, served it warm and left the bottle on the table. Needless to add that, after this, we did not order any more white wine. Another odd instance of insufficient instructions was that, at the beginning of the cruise, the writer (who does not mind paying for good coffee) was told that such thinks as espresso, cafe latte and cappuccino were not served at breakfast in the dining room...until the last day when it turned out that it was. Personally, this mishap was lamented as a great pity. There was a "Club Costa" supposedly superior restaurant on the COSTA FORTUNA. However, a hefty $33 charge per person was also levied. That, for four, comes to $132 (or about €100), which, from the wine and food performance experienced elsewhere on board, seemed like an overoptimistic bet. The writer went to see the premises, which apart from being on an upper deck and smaller, did not seem all that extraordinary; there was further doubts about the place having its own real "Cordon bleu" chef of repute, which seemed unlikely having tasted the general downgrading in the ship's kitchens. So we decided to invest the money in a good restaurant we know in Venice instead. A rather odd event was an unabashed "pitch" given at the final meeting. A good part of it concerned the COSTA comments form we were asked to fill out. This writer (who has attended French, American and British learning institutions and published widely in both languages) was interested to learn that there were great differences between the French and American meaning of the word "excellent". Francophones should know that the Americans bandied about "excellent" all the time, that the form was provided by COSTAs American owners so that the answer "excellent" was really what was meant by "very good". So Francophones should mark "excellent." Mmmmhhh... Further reasons given were that, after all, it was a wonderful cruise, the crew tried its hardest, the American owners were watching (but it was not mentioned that the Costa family had sold the line to the American Carnaval cruises and a British booking firm since the mid-1990s) and everyone loved us. For our part, the four of us were not especially well disposed after this unabashed pressuring. Neither great or bad: Entertainment was, in general correct, the best show being that put on by crew members. An odd and annoying practice was that performers (of "international" fame, naturally) were announced in the "Today" program, but what they would play or sing was almost never announced. One night, there was the exception of the "Trio Tango" who would play "Classics" so we expected classical music, but what they played instead were musical themes of various cinema classics such as "Love Story", "Casablanca", etc. It can be added that a lot of the entertainment was of rather loud "rock" music with "go-go" dancers and so on that was certainly "out of sinc" with the age of most passengers, the great majority seemingly in their 60s and 70s. This betrays a lack of considerate effort on the part of they who plan the entertainment, especially as the COSTA line has the age group data weeks if not months in advance through the bookings. One wonders why there was no cinema offered (as the writer recalls on an earlier three-week COSTA cruise). Indeed, it might have been much better and less expensive for the shipping company than some of the entertainment on this Atlantic crossing. One night, the four of us evoked just for fun the "classic" films that could have been presented and came up with about a dozen European and American films. The elevators are fast and efficient for the number of passengers therein. Well, most times except diner time. Positive points: First and foremost: the staff of the ship. They were seemingly mostly from the Philippines with a large contingent of Brazilians led by Italian managers. Ever smiling and cheerful, ever polite and trying to do what they could to ease the problems that faced many passengers on the COSTA FORTUNA. They were remarkably versed in languages generally being able to have a basic understanding of English, French, Italian and Portuguese. They obviously had undergone a rigorous training and generally applied it well, although diner service tended to be long and there was an instance when lunch took some 45 minutes to arrive in spite of having signaled that we had an early tour to catch -- we made it just in time, but it was a disagreeable experience. The staff's efforts and good cheer can only go so far by what are, by our observations, faults in various levels of management control and resolution processes. One must also praise remarkably patient staff putting up with some truly horrid passengers who seemed to think they were the world's navel. This reviewer recalls a disgraceful "dressing down" by a lean and bearded young man in a rage at an Italian staff member because the stern of deck 9 only had plastic cups and that he never drank out of those (a wise COSTA regulation to prevent broken glass on a deck with many barefooted bathers). Or the irate mature lady proclaiming that she was a "hostage" who was imposed a table, a menu, a dining hour, etc., and that she would therefore only be served in her room, which of course was declined in spite of great exclamations of dubious anger. Then there were the bullies who charged in elevators, stairways and doorways, practically knocking ladies down on their hurried ways; whoever they were, they were not gentlemen (or ladies in some cases). The COSTA line has something of a long-standing reputation for having consistently hired some of the best designers for the interior decoration of its ships. The COSTA FORTUNA is indeed a very tastefully appointed ship, the decorative themes being about early explorers and cruise ship travel from the 1930s. The buffet restaurant featured reproductions of a fine collection of early maps on wall panels and table tops, which are a delight and intriguing to examine. There are several fine models of some of COSTAs past ships such as the "Michelangelo" that used to do the Italy to New York run in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a joy just to walk about the ship. The COSTA FORTUNAs cabins are also quite nicely appointed; the decoration is very relaxed and yet quite thoughtfully set up. We had a balcony and certainly recommend it. The rooms seem practically sound proof from other cabins. The air-conditioning was not at all aggressive and "out of control" as on older COSTA and MSC ships, which was a great bonus. All in all, a very comfortable ship. Barmen were cheerful, knew their business and swiftly prepared good drinks. Naturally, there was a good offering of Italian wines (and the white ones were served chilled). Curiously, ten year or older Tawny Port was not on board (I would not recommend old vintage Port on a moving ship). Pity. Staff was invariably very helpful to solve minor problems. Our cabin's door sometimes jarred so that, at times, we wondered if we might not have to phone for help to get out. Our Stewart was advised and he quickly had it fixed. In conclusion One can't be too sure about what COSTAs policies are just now, but, from what was observed, a comprehensive management review of this firm by its owners would seem a good idea. At this point, the Italy-based management appears to be waging a desperate struggle to retain its independence from its owners. To show profits, it appears to cringe on some passenger benefits and also influence those same passengers to say everything is excellent. Which is, in this writer's view, rather dubious. Otherwise, apart from some most frustrating tours and rather odd food at times, it was a nice crossing. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
What I liked:-Wonderful, friendly staff from many countries-Ship was beautifully decorated-Good entertainment program with heaps of different activities all day-Buffet restaurant had good quality food-Cabin was good value for moneyWhat I ... Read More
What I liked:-Wonderful, friendly staff from many countries-Ship was beautifully decorated-Good entertainment program with heaps of different activities all day-Buffet restaurant had good quality food-Cabin was good value for moneyWhat I didn't like:-Embarkation was slow, frustrating and poorly organised-Food in the main restaurants was very ordinary-Drinks were very expensive-Shore excursions were good, but expensive for what was included-Kids were allowed to run amok all over the ship with little supervision-Announcements in 6 languages gets annoying after a whileReview:This was my first cruise of more than a day or so and I didn't really know what to expect. Overall I was very impressed, glad that I did the cruise and would happily do it again tomorrow. I am an Australian living in Germany and I went with my partner (we are both mid 20s) and my parents (both about 60) who had come to Europe to visit me.I do, however, think there were a few things which could have been a lit better.Embarkation was very slow and frustrating. The information given to us beforehand on the port was not very detailed so we spent a bit of time walking around looking for where we were supposed to drop our bags and what we were supposed to do next. They give a number and say that you can board when the number is called. There were lots of people walking around trying to sell drinks packages but not many to answer questions amongst the confusion.We ended up sitting and waiting for about 3 or 4 hours until we could board. I couldn't see why they couldn't have just told us what time we were going to board when they sent the ticket by email a week earlier so that we could have been exploring Venice rather than sitting in their waiting area.Once we got on the ship we were very impressed. The decoration and elegance of the ship's interior was just wonderful.Our cabin was right down the bottom of the ship and on the inside, so nothing special, but that is what we'd paid for. I don't see the point of paying an extra 1000 euro or so for a balcony when I can just go upstairs and experience it that way. The balcony rooms looked very nice for those who are happy to pay double the cost. The cabin we had was comfortable and served our purposes well. Indeed, it was better than many hotels I have experienced.Dinner was also a little frustrating as we had to wait until 9:00, but I can understand why they do it this way. The restaurant was also wonderfully decorated and looked much more expensive than any restaurant I had ever been. The service was also wonderful; the two waiters we had for the week were fantastic. The food however, was nothing special. We got to choose about 7 courses and obviously some were better than others, but overall the food was not as good as the quality of the restaurant would suggest.I actually found the food in the buffet a lot better so we went up there to eat a few times. The only problem then is that the kids seem to have free run of the entire ship and it gets pretty frustrating to those of us without kids. They would push in line, run around everywhere in the restaurant, make as much noise as they like and often had little or no supervision from their parents. Of course this is not the fault of Costa, but it would be nice if they could ask the parents to take care of their kids rather than letting them annoy everyone else.Drinks were decent quality (other than the wine) but were very expensive. Looking at about 5 euro for a beer, 5 euro for a wine and about 7 or 8 for a cocktail. I guess it's not anymore expensive than a good bar on land. Technically you are not allowed to bring on any food or drink but we quickly discovered that in reality they don't actually check anything. We brought on softdrink, vodka, scotch and wine in our bags and they never stopped us despite seeing it clearly on the x-ray.The shore excursions were nicely organised but often only went for a few hours. With a group of 4 people, we would have been better off just organising stuff on our own (a taxi is cheaper with that many) but we didn't know in advance. Still, it was nice to have a few things organised for us.Being an Italian ship most of the people were Italian. However there were people from many countries and all the announcements were done in about 6 languages. This became really annoying but I guess there isn't really a better alternative.Overall I was really happy with the cruise and was quite disappointed to get off at the end. It was a great experience and I would happily do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
This was our first cruise with Costa, and while we enjoyed many aspects of the Costa experience, will probably be our last.First, the positives:1. The itinerary was fabulous - every port was worth the stop and every excursion we booked ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Costa, and while we enjoyed many aspects of the Costa experience, will probably be our last.First, the positives:1. The itinerary was fabulous - every port was worth the stop and every excursion we booked through Costa was outstanding and worth the Euros. The port stays, except for Rhodes were short, so taking an excursion is, IMHO, the best way to experience the port. You don't need a tour in Dubrovnik as this is a beautiful, walkable city as well as Mykonos - no tour offered anyway as we were there at night.2. The stateroom was great - a very spacious and comfortable balcony room. No complaints with the room steward, etc. Wished they had more options on English speaking TV - but who cares about TV when you are cruising?!3. Costa did a great job in accommodating the 5 different languages on the ship. I thought that the entertainment, announcements, excursions, etc. were all cleverly handled to make everyone happy. The ship had about 3,100 passengers - probably 1/3 Italian; 1/4 German; and the rest evenly split between French, English speaking and Japanese. The English speakers had our own host, excursions, certain activities and were also grouped together in the dining room, etc.4. The interiors of the ship were great - especially the atrium area and the ceiling with the models of all the Costa ships hanging upside down (Poseidon Adventure?). The ship was clean and well kept.5. Embarkation in Venice was good - not great but not as bad as what we had read about in other reviews. About 1 hour from time of arrival at port (2:30) to being in our stateroom (3:30).6. And last but not least, the value of what we got for what we paid was outstanding.Now the negatives:1. The food. I am definitely not a picky eater, but the variety of food offered as well as its quality and tastiness was lacking. I don't know if it was my "American taste buds" that didn't like European food or if it was just the food but I would compare the quality to a chain restaurant in the US. The pizza in the buffet was good, but most of the time this was the only thing being served there, so we learned it is possible to have too much of a good thing. We also like cold soups and spicy dishes but found none of these the entire 7 days.2. In two ports, Dubrovnik and Mykonos, we were forced to dock at the commercial ports rather than anchor in the bay and tender in. Costa said that this was due to weather. Well, the days we were there the sea was glass, no wind and no rain, etc. Since they had to go to the commercial port we were forced to pay 6 Euro each to get bus transportation into the city. I have never had to pay for bus transport from the port to the city. This whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth - we felt like we were being nickled and dimed to death. Costa, please don't charge this fee - it's a cheap way to build customer loyalty and goodwill.3. The entertainment. While they did a great job accommodating all the languages and making it work, the quality and caliber of the entertainment was lacking. For instance, the acts and singers in the main showroom performed to canned music rather than a live show band. Some of the performers were sub-par.4. Our fellow passengers. We spent a week in Italy prior to sailing so we grew accustomed to the pushing, line cutting, smoking, etc. but still were flabbergasted at our fellow shipmates. We went with an open mind and knowing that we needed to adjust to different cultures and ways of doing things. In fact, this is one reason we booked the cruise - to broaden our experience and interact with those outside our "comfort zone". Still, we couldn't get over the rudeness and complete lack of consideration for others that many of the passengers exhibited. Examples: moving nonsmoking signs off of tables to adjacent tables and smoking at that table; slamming of balcony doors and LOUD talking at all hours of night/day; cutting in front of you in line waiting to embark/debark/eat at buffet, etc. etc.; pushing you from behind even when carrying food, etc.; talking at the top of their voice in the hallway outside your stateroom for long periods of time; knocking at your stateroom door and running away; kids swimming in the adult only pool and jacuzzis with parents' encouragement. I could go on, but you get the picture.5. Disembarkation. Having to vacate your room and wait in a predetermined lounge is a pain especially after having experienced NCL's system of being able to stay in your stateroom.Summary: A mixed bag. The bottom line is if you can tolerate the negatives, then the positives, especially the itinerary and the value may make this a cruise you should consider taking. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
A brief review. Costa Fortuna from Venice - Grecian spendour 26th October - (but it rained most days!!) Went on this with an open mind. Left delighted and would definitely book Costa again. If you like an English feel to your ... Read More
A brief review. Costa Fortuna from Venice - Grecian spendour 26th October - (but it rained most days!!) Went on this with an open mind. Left delighted and would definitely book Costa again. If you like an English feel to your holiday and to be with mostly englsh speaking people this is probably not the cruise for you. Pre-cruise concerns were: Smoking: - I hate smoking, but hardly noticed this. Pushing & Shoving - Only as would be expected when we're all desperate to get out hands on that lovely food. Didn't experience any problems. Languages - Announcements were few and far between, so never a problem. Only one which went on a bit was when they were calling you to muster - avoid being in your cabin as it takes about half an hour to get through all the languages, and it's a bit tedious when you're at the lifeboat stations, but small price to pay. All entertainment multi lingual and seeing most singing etc is in english we do pretty well out of it all. Most shows was singing and dancing. I was in awe of the entertainment staff who could speak so many languages and it made it fun. Nationalities - mostly french, then italitan, spanish and english speaking. As we were a family of 7 we didn't need to rely on socialising so no prob, and liked the contenintal feel of it as did our children who enjoyed trying to speak to children of other nationalities. We had a table to ourselves, but initially we were split up and my parents were sharing with some Hungarians who didn't speak english, so could be tricky if you like to socialise at dinner time. Food - Excellent, a lot of fish and pasta but that suited us. Drinks, etc. We purchased X1 packaged which was good value as the kids soft drinks are close to 3Euro each. Paid up front so we didn't think about it and only spent 1 Euro on our onboard account! X1 worked well as the hours are pretty flexible and there weren't many hours in the day that we couldn't get a drink! All in all we were very pleased with the cruise and would go Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
We just arrived home after a week on the Costa Fortuna in the US Virgin Islands. I also found the roll calls for Costa slower than NCL or Carnival but I think it may be a difference in cultures. North Americans seem to live on the ... Read More
We just arrived home after a week on the Costa Fortuna in the US Virgin Islands. I also found the roll calls for Costa slower than NCL or Carnival but I think it may be a difference in cultures. North Americans seem to live on the computer. Someone on our original thread said that Costa was completely different than the others because it was Italian but he couldn't explain what different meant. Embarkation was super quick & we were on the ship within 30 minutes!! Our room was ready & our luggage was to our room by noon. Unlike Carnival & NCL, they don't process your on-board credit account there. They have set up several machines around the ship to swipe your Costa card and your credit card. Done - 2 minutes and you have 2 days to get around to doing it! Debarkation was just as easy!! What I experienced was that it is multi-cultural. Everywhere you went, you were hearing different languages - Italian, German, Spanish, English, etc. On our other cruises, the staff was from all over the world but mostly the passengers were American. This time, the passengers are from all over the world and 50%+ of the staff were Italian and the rest seemed to be mostly from India and the Philippines. Very few American or Canadian staff. Staff are more flirty than on the other lines. You may have a hard time with the "behind the scenes" staff, as a lot of their English was so-so but all the staff that worked with you, all spoke English. The food isn't fatty and they have amazing pasta!! The desserts were really good (I have a sweet tooth and didn't like the desserts on the others ships). We were at table 242, 1st seating at the Michelangelo Dining Room and the food was ok but our waiters were really, really bad and didn't give us a good opinion of that portion of our experience HOWEVER, the waiter on the next set of tables was very attentive and our experience was the waiter & not the cruise. The Lido deck opens in shifts for each meal. It was constantly being switched from one section to another. With the constant time changes, it confused me a bit as to where I could eat ;) On the very back of the Lido deck (deck 9), they had the "healthy choices" breakfast - including soy milk and sugar free juices. I didn't find the food to be listed as "spa menu" but it certainly wasn't hard to make healthy food choices. In our group, we had 13, 17, 42, 43 & 68 yr olds with a variety of food tastes. My 68 yr old aunt is a country girl from rural Nova Scotia and always found good food. Even our 13 yr old boy enjoyed the food selection. Beverages were hot milk (great for hot chocolate) in the morning and ice tea the rest of the day. There was always a variety of teas, cold milk, coffee & decaf (which was pretty good). It's worth it to buy the $22 non-alcoholic drink package. It gives you 10 drinks of either soda or their virgin bar drinks. It includes the 15% gratuities. If you buy it when you're in port the first day, you have to pay $3 service fee but not if you buy it on-line or the next day. They have the same thing for coffee - 25 coffee for $32 but it's not brewed but espresso coffee. The entertainment on the ship was the same as the other lines. If you've been on one before, it's all the same. The spa will offer you $10 off massage treatments the first day but they go down by $20 mid-week (25 min massage - $59; 25 min massage with facial - $99). Manicures were $25 and near the end they offered manicure & pedicure for $50. Usually I don't use the spa but 4 of the 5 of us had treatments and enjoyed it. Both my aunt & I have back problems and worry about other therapist working on our backs. But Jacki was amazing & certainly knew her stuff!! They have a gym and my husband said it was pretty good (not much for free weights but the machines were good) and there are several treadmills & bikes. Our ship had both a dry & wet sauna with a hot tub. The ship was really, really clean and I always found the staff pleasant. I've read some Costa comments that said the staff were nasty and I would honestly take that to be a reflection of the one making the comment. The service desk was amazing & I never waited in line more than 5 minutes and the staff were always wonderful. Debarkation morning was smooth and NO huge line ups - even at the buffet!! Can't comment on the excursions desk because we did our own thing once in the port and for 1/2 the money the cruises charge. The thing I like the most about this cruise was the amount of activity. There were always people around!! We found on Carnival, everything shut down early & passengers weren't around. My husband & I are going to take dance lessons. There were always passengers dancing in the Grand Bar and it certainly wasn't the "high school waltz!" I'm 100% about service and expect 100% quality service. I'm a pretty tough judge and certainly not a fluff ball that things everything is roses & sunshine. If I weren't impressed, I'd say so (I was really upset at NCL Spirit & wrote a 4 page letter!) Would I recommend this line? Absolutely and it will be our next cruise after Bermuda in August. Have fun and enjoy this beautiful cruise line! Elizabeth Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Your vacation and cruise experience is ultimately what you choose to make it and is dependent on your initial expectations. When considering booking with Costa, I read many reviews of this particular ship and itinerary. Many were less than ... Read More
Your vacation and cruise experience is ultimately what you choose to make it and is dependent on your initial expectations. When considering booking with Costa, I read many reviews of this particular ship and itinerary. Many were less than flattering so I couldn't help but wonder what the expectations of those travelers were and what our experience would be. No matter what, there are going to be some people who experience some type of difficulty or "small situation" as the Jamaicans say and it is prudent to keep that in mind. A huge determinative factor in going ahead with this cruise was the almost ridiculously low price. Here's how the week stacked up.... I had Costa make our airline and transfer arrangements because they could actually get us plane tickets at a reasonable rate during spring break week, which I could not do myself. Everything went very smoothly; we were on board the ship within about one hour of our plane landing - very unexpected to do so that quickly. The accoutrements of the ship were comparable to those of Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean which we have sailed in the past. A cabin is a cabin.... Our room steward performed an industry standard job taking care of us. No towel creatures, though. :-( For a Caribbean cruise, we found the area devoted to pools to be inadequate. Of particular note, there were no toiletries provided other than hand and shower soap. A huge negative were all the people who "reserved" lounge chairs around the pool for the day. Most of these people would leave for hours on end. I know, I walked the decks, regarding all the reserved-by-towel, -book, or -sandal chairs and finally simply appropriated one for myself. I stayed in that spot for roughly 3 hours and noted the chairs that no one ever claimed. Fortuna staff should have regularly made the rounds and taken up all the towels and personal belongings. Passengers should not feel they have a right to do this - they don't. I understand this is a problem industry-wide and people need to start figuring out they are not the only ones who paid for a vacation. Advice: appropriate whatever lounger you want. There is not enough open deck space on decks that are not connected to pool and food service areas, further congesting guests who just want to be outside. Oddly, there seemed to be many closed off, reduced access sections in a number of places. The entertainment overall was first rate. The dancers were spectacular each evening and the guest performers were all marvelous entertainers as well. All were definitely worth watching and enjoyable. Poolside, daily exercise classes were offered several times a day. I appreciated not having to pay extra to participate in an organized group fitness class; facilitators did a bang up job. Since the passenger list on Costa is purported to be more international than those of her more domestic counterparts, we anticipated meeting people from other parts of the world. In that we were not disappointed. We spent most of the week with our new friends from Australia. We heard an abundance of foreign languages spoken. It's interesting to try to have broken language conversations with others and try to get your message across! Be friendly to people! We had also expected a greater diversity and enhanced flavoring to foods prepared on board. Alas, cruise food is cruise food. It was good but not great. There were more limited choices in the buffet line than we have experienced on other ships. Entree choices were varied in the dining room, but still lacked flavor. They do NOT know how to prepare a rib-eye steak. I have never seen so much candied citron used in my life. Custom made omelets were tough and not worth waiting in line for. Beware some of your choices when you order breakfast in your cabin. A "breakfast roll" is last night's dinner roll. This cruise seemed more crowded than any other we have taken, either in the Caribbean or elsewhere. If I recall correctly, the in-cabin ship info indicated there were well over 3000 passengers rather than the 2700 noted in any online or published information. If true, that would explain the overcrowded feeling. It would also explain why it seemed there were fewer crew to serve the needs of the passengers. Food service was much less apparent, attentive, and responsive on this ship than others we have sailed. In the buffet and poolside areas, there is normally a plethora of crew to keep tables and dining areas clean and well-stocked, and see to any additional needs a passenger may have; not so on the Fortuna. There were few bartenders making their presence known poolside for drink orders. When ordering a drink pretty much anywhere except barside, it took forever to get that drink delivered and then off they went with my Costa card for another extended period of time. Made me not want to order at all. Somewhere along the line, nobody has bothered to teach the bartenders which glasses go with which drinks. In the dining room, we drank our water out of wine glasses and our wine out of the larger water glasses each night. Gin and tonic was also normally served in a stemmed water glass. Go figure. Some other reviewers have said there were no beverage packages offered on board. This is not true. You can get a wine and water package and a soft drink package on board. Both a good deal and recommended. They also said that water was not available at all times. Not true. Come on now, think about this. There would be a huge health/safety liability in not allowing passengers to hydrate regularly at no additional cost. Okay, so the water tastes really bad, but it is perfectly safe to drink if you choose not to pay for bottled water. Different from other cruise lines we have sailed, passengers who booked excursions with Costa meet on board the ship and then all leave the ship together to begin the excursion. When we got to Grand Cayman, the announcement was made that we had to tender in an alternate location because of rough seas. Don't lie to your passengers, Costa, you knew all along we would be in the second group porting there that day and have to use the alternate location. But I guess that's the only way they can get away with making us each pay cab fare to the central location where the first ship arrivals get to tender/dock. And that's bad form. Grand Caymans. Beautiful place. Expensive. A round of drinks (3 margaritas and a beer) should not cost $41 USD. Turtle farm much smaller than anticipated, especially for the entrance fee; nothing at Hell but a shop; the samples of rum cake at the stores have an extra infusion of rum that the purchased cakes do not. Easy to create your own excursion with all the guides hanging out portside. Should have planned to hang out at the beach. Looks like it could be anywhere on the Australian coast, according to our travelmates. Ocho Rios. Climb the waterfalls! You'll want a couple of bucks to tip your guide. The plantation was interesting if you like that kind of stuff. We booked a tour that included both of these places and probably could have done as well getting transportion portside. There was almost not enough time to climb the waterfall, but our tour guide, Joy, made sure we were accommodated and made it back to the ship in a timely fashion. Don't rent the water shoes to climb the falls; pack your own that you get for like $5.00 at Academy. Nassau. Be sure you see Atlantis at Paradise Island. Get a cab. Ridiculous lines in the hot sun to get back onboard the ship. Never had that experience before or since. Cozumel. Snagged a cab for the day a good rate. Be sure to check with several drivers and move just outside the secured area for quicker service and better price. If you don't want to spend all day traveling and still get to see some ruins, head over to San Gervasio. Your driver can recommend a great Mexican restaurant where you can probably also see a Mariachi band and maybe even Ballet Folklorico performance at no additional charge. More than enough places to souvenir shop. Also close to shopping is a new supermarket if you like to check out what is available for locals in different countries. Overall, was the cruise a good bargain for the money spent? Yes. Would we sail with Costa again? Possibly, but it certainly wouldn't be my first line of choice; reasons being the overcrowded feeling and lower quality of service experienced in the public areas of the ship. Also consider how important your time in port is to you. All portages were on the short side for us. Remember, your experience is what you make it; travel with an open mind and plan to enjoy yourself. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
For starters we have cruised on: In order of our favorites:) Princess Royal Norweigin Costa - this cruise Carnival Overall for the price, the cruise was great. I'm pretty easy going with food so I liked most of the food that had ... Read More
For starters we have cruised on: In order of our favorites:) Princess Royal Norweigin Costa - this cruise Carnival Overall for the price, the cruise was great. I'm pretty easy going with food so I liked most of the food that had some European flare. I think most Americans would enjoy the food as well. Pros Price 4 ports was awesome, even though it left a little early at some ports. Pasta was awesome! Pizza was Great despite needing more tomato sauce. Ship was clean Some of the Shows were good. Most of the food was great. Customer service was great. Cons I'm pretty active on the ship, or at least try to be. There wasn't too much to do on sea days. No rock wall like Royal, organized sports games did not occur due to lack of participation. Some of the Europeans on the ship were rude, by American standards, by being very impatient, almost childish if you asked me lol. Decors is gaudy! Gym needs more treadmills and felt a bit small. Given a choice I would still chose Princess, Royal, or Norwegin, over Costa, but the Price was right. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
We are a family who went on a family vacation. We have been 4 other cruises with four other cruise lines. We are in our 40's with teenagers who are looking to find other teenagers to hang out with on the ship (to get away from their ... Read More
We are a family who went on a family vacation. We have been 4 other cruises with four other cruise lines. We are in our 40's with teenagers who are looking to find other teenagers to hang out with on the ship (to get away from their lame parents). Us, adults, are causal drinkers and are looking for some fun shows to watch, dance a little, get involved in some on board organized games/fun and maybe play a hand or two of blackjack and call it good. Our kids want to mesh with other teenagers and walk the ship looking bored (it's the thing!), dance with their teenage friends, play ping pong, play video games, swim and sit in the hot tub and talk about whom is "cute" on the ship AND at all cost avoid THEIR PARENTS! The Good: Beautiful Ship! The water slide was fun. Fun Activities (Toga night and talent show was FUN!!!!) Great deals on pictures - got all the digital negatives and ALL THE PRINTS for $150 at the end of the cruise. We probably had over 30+ pictures we took over 2 formal nights and New Years Eve Night. Great Drink Packages! I prepaid for the X1 packages for adults (includes alcohol) and kids (non-alcohol) for a little over $300 ... and we all drank enough carbonated drinks and, we adults, drank enough wine and beer to surpass the price we prepaid. Dining room service was IMPECCABLE and probably the best I have ever had on any of my cruises. The food presentation and wait staff presentation was extraordinary. On Italian night, in the main dining room, the wait staff danced down the steps and sang in Italian while everyone clapped. During NYE the wait staff danced around and lit off sparklers as they came down the steps. On the last night, Toga Night, they danced down the steps in Roman Get Up and said "All Hail Caesar!" ... it was FUN, very well planned and really entertaining. The shows on board were family appropriate without being so clean it was boring. The shows were everything from curse free comedians, Elton John impersonation show, and Broadway tunes show to a musical review of decades of music. We never encountered rude staff ANYWHERE on board this ship. Everyone was courtesy and very helpful. NYE was the best party we have ever been too ... will defiantly do NYC on a cruise ship again. The Bad: The ships pools were TOO SMALL. I wrote this in my comment card. We have been on 4 other cruise lines and ships. The pools on this mid range ship pale in comparison to ships of equal size we have been on. Additionally their pools were SMALLER then ships we have been on that don't even equal their gross tonnage. This is just bad design and they need more people to give this feedback so they can consider expanding their pool sizes in future ship designs. It's not fun when the pool so small that you aren't swimming but bumping elbows. The food was tasteless and just plain weird (tacos without cheese, lettuce or tomato ...What? ...that is their TexMex). It makes me feel guilty to say their food sucked because the food presentation and fun in the dining room almost made up for the lack of tasteless food. But hey I came back with absolutely no weight gain (I was HAPPY!!! ... so much I had to weight twice because I didn't believe it) and how many people can say that after a 2 week vacation? Anyway I had fun with everything else so in the end they DID me a favor with their bad food ... it's like I went to fat camp and had fun. Lowdown: I went to be with my family and have fun. Costa accomplished both of this for me. I had little to no problems with the cruise line. I wasn't at the customer service desk day and night with issues so this, of course, made for stress free time that I spent with the family. I didn't go to excessively eat or get drunk every day. I seen some great shows and found enough edible food to stay alive and enjoyed all the amenities and planned activities on board. We enjoyed our ports of call. Getting off and on the ship was easy and hassle free. I would go on anther Costa Cruise again ... you beat ... it's a good price for a newer ship and it was fun. Word to the Wise: PREPLAN! Seriously you need to preplan if you are going on this cruise. You can NOT buy X1 packages on board the ship. They will not sell them to you on board. You have to call Costa customer service and organized this BEFORE your cruise. A great tip here is to load up on the unlimited beverages and put them in your refrigerator. We came home with soda. We got our money back. READ your "Today" on board every day. By reading the "Today" we found out that you can buy your digital negatives for $75 on CD and print them yourself at home or send out for prints and enlarges (not copyrighted ... they will give you the digital negatives for $75). You do have to go down every now and then and pick up your pictures and have them place it in a folder for you. We did this every time we walked through the main atrium area (grand piano bar) which was every day. I will pick my own pictures if they give me the negatives ... then I can make my own prints through Clark photo's of formal photos and give to family ... all good. By having this information up front we took MORE pictures because we figured there was opportunity here to get some great photos for a really good price. We found out on the last day of the cruise when we went to pick up our CD of negatives we could buy all the photos we took too for an additional $75 ... which made it a $150.00. We took over 30+ photos so we bought it. When is the last time you got formal pictures AND the negatives (for future prints) for $150. It was a good deal. Shore excursions are always expensive on any cruise ship line. The cruise ship line MAKE $ off you taking their "provided" excursions because they are offering a service. If you do research on ports you go to you can take your own shore excursions for more than half the price. Remember all these ports of call have taxi's lined up and ready. Most beaches in the Caribbean are usually free. Walking around in Atlantis in the Bahamas is free and the taxi ride is a set rate $4 per person as set by the Bahamian government and posted at the pier. Puerto Rico is an American Territory along with St. Thomas VI. They all speak English and use American money. You can RENT a car on American soil (and it is) and go to the rain forest yourself for half the price with car rental, gas and entrance fee included. We don't do many shore excursions through cruise lines because of two factors ... TOO EXPENSIVE and TOO LITTLE TIME ... 20 minutes to stop and look and get back on the bus is not enough time at $65 a person. You can also use external shore excursion sites found through Google. Remember it's YOUR MONEY and with a little time and research you can do your own shore excursions for less money. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
The ship was very clean, cabins well maintained ad comfortable and crew very pleasant and keen to help. Our itinerary took us to Bari,Katakalon, Santorini. Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik and we enjoyed all our stops - although Mykonos ... Read More
The ship was very clean, cabins well maintained ad comfortable and crew very pleasant and keen to help. Our itinerary took us to Bari,Katakalon, Santorini. Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik and we enjoyed all our stops - although Mykonos on a very cool October evening was perhaps the least enjoyable stop. Our biggest issue was that it felt as if we were being squeezed for money at every opportunity. Unlike other cruises with other companies that we have been on, on Costa Fortuna..... * we couldn't bring drinks of any type on board * a compulsory service charge was added to all drinks - even if you collected them yourself - 1.20 Euros on a cocktail costing 6.50 Euros seemed more than abit steep! * a compulsory service charge was added to our onboard account daily, removing our ability to tip those who we felt had served us well - unless of course you wanted/could afford to tip a second, separate amount! The crew told us that unless everyone ticked the excellent box on the passesnger questionnaires they wouldn'teven see these tips!! *the shows were very average. The crew talent show was just poor and seemed to us a cheap way of providing entertainment. However, those grumbles aside - we DID enjoy ourselves. Although I don't think we will be rushing to cruise with Costa again - mainly because of the hidden costs once you're on board Read Less
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: 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
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
Sail Date: January 2008
COSTA FORTUNA Eastern Caribbean Jan. 27 - Feb. 3, 2008 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This cruise was like "Old Home Week" for us. It was another wedding anniversary cruise, in the company of our son Marcello, his wife Paige and ... Read More
COSTA FORTUNA Eastern Caribbean Jan. 27 - Feb. 3, 2008 By Mary & Vincent Finelli This cruise was like "Old Home Week" for us. It was another wedding anniversary cruise, in the company of our son Marcello, his wife Paige and their son Marcello (6 yrs). Once on board, we were reacquainted with so many of our Costa friends, that we now dispute the old saying "You can't go home." Costa's cruising Italian style delivers distinct hospitality which is wonderful, and we basked in it for a whole week. On Day One, at the boat drill, Guest Relations Manager Martina Fantoni greeted us so warmly and by name, that we felt special. She proved to be so helpful and kind throughout the cruise, that we can't wait to cruise on Costa again. In the culinary department, we have many friends including the following: Chef Antonio De Luca, Maitre D' Bartolmeo Vitiello, 2nd Maitre D' Raffaele Bailo (Music Man), and 2nd Maitre D' Marcantonio De Candia. Later we will enumerate our new acquaintances including the elegant Captain Paolo Benini. EMBARKATION Ft. Lauderdale is secure to a fault. Because we had an motorized wheelchair we arrived in two autos. Our son Nicolas brought his son Nicky (6 yrs.) along for the ride, just to see the ships in Port Everglades. Big mistake! We soon found out that this can be a problem, since Nicky did not have a picture ID with him. At the security gates entrance to the port, we were stopped and not allowed to proceed to the pier with Nicky in the car, so we had to go back a few hundred feet into a parking lot and transfer all the luggage into one auto. Nicky went home with his Dad, without ever seeing the ship. Nicolas was supposed to drive our car home. Instead we parked in the Port's Garage ($105 per week). There is a lesson to be learned here: Even small children cannot visit the pier without an ID. The security guards could use a bit more common sense in inspections and not being nitpick, when it is evident that a six year old boy accompanied by his father is no threat or danger to anybody. What normally takes one half hour, last Sunday took one hour. Once at the pier we had to wait for Marcello to return from the parking garage --- another half hour. Costa's boarding and check-in were swift, and we had wheelchair assistance to our cabin. Total time from home to cabin --- two hours. It was too long on the pier, but Costa's check-in time was fast. SHIP The Costa Fortuna is the sister ship of the Costa Magica; thus, we are quite familiar with the deck plan. The major differences are in the decorations and the theme of the Fortuna. On the Fortuna, Ship Architect Joe Farcus pays homage to many of the former Italian Liners (naming major rooms and restaurants after them) and to ports of call (naming the decks after them). On board are many ship models, some arranged as a fleet and suspended upside down from the atrium ceiling. This was very disturbing to us, and we speculated on a better way to display these marvelous models. They would look better if floated on a clear blue plexiglas sea and suspended in the Atrium so that they could be visible from both above and below from several decks. The nautical motif is instantly apparent at the Welcome On Board Buffet: Deck 9 Napoli, Restaurant Buffet Colombo, named after the liner Cristoforo Colombo 1954, is decorated with huge Cobalt blue globes of the Earth and the walls have a series of ancient maps, so interesting, that passengers stop and stand to admire them, while temporarily forgetting the food! The Costa Fortuna was built in 2003 at the Fincantieri Sestri Ponente Shipyards near Genoa, Italy. She weighs 105,000 gross tons, her length is 272 meters and beam is 36 meters; guest capacity is 3,470 with a crew of 1,030; there are 14 passenger decks and she has a top speed of 22 knots. Her registry is Genoa, Italy. Deck 1 Rio de Janeiro and Deck 2 Miami are all passenger cabins in Categories 1, 2 (inside) and 6, 7 (ocean view). Deck 3 Buenos Aires has the Costa Atrium Michelangelo. Aft is the beautiful Restaurant Michelangelo 1965 (all ships have their launch dates attached) with ceilings depicting the scenes of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, Italy. There are gorgeous blue and gold (Costa colors)Murano glass ceiling lights --- so elegant. At the entrance is an accurate ship model of the Michelangelo launched in 1965, and on which we sailed in November 1968 from Napoli to New York, just before our marriage January 26, 1969. Midship is the Restaurant Raffaello 1965, named for the Michelangelo's sister ship and it also has the beautiful Murano ceiling light fixtures and on its wall are displayed enormous posters from the Raffaello's hey day. Midship is the main floor of the atrium. Forward is the main level of a three deck high Teatro Rex 1932, The most famous of all Italian ships and a Blue Riband winner. Deck 4 Santos aft holds the balconies of the two mentioned restaurants, the Atrium and the theater. Also on Deck 4 is the Library, Biblioteca Galileo Galilei 1963, and the Internet Cafe`. Deck 5 Genova aft has the Salon Leonardo Da Vinci 1960, the Conte Rosso 1921 Piano Bar all in red, and the Conte Verde 1923 Ballroom all in green. There was dancing in this room day and night, between lessons and parties. The ship has many venues with live music and dance floors. Next is the Casino Neptunia 1932 and the Grand Bar Conte Di Savoia 1932. Forward is the theater . Deck 6 Lisbona, Deck 7 Caracas, and Deck 8 Vigo are all passenger cabins including inside, ocean view, veranda and suites. Deck 9 Napoli forward has passenger cabins (inside and veranda). Midship is the Lido Oceania 1932 with its three interesting animal bronze statues (Koala bear, Kangaroo and joey, and the birds) representing the fauna of Australia by Giovanni Solci. Aft is the Restaurant Buffet Cristoforo Colombo 1954, all in lovely turquoise blue and marine colors with ancient maps and globes everywhere. All the way aft is the Solarium Lido Cristoforo Colombo with two whirlpools, a swimming pool and a retractable roof. This area is wreathed with beautiful tiles depicting the mythic monsters of the seas. Here is the statue of the kneeling American Indian Girl by Sara Righi. The lovely patina on this copper larger than life work blends well with the marine colors of the Lido. Deck 10 Barcelona forward again are cabins, and then the Lido Barcelona and aft is the upper level of the Ristorante Cristoforo Colombo 1954. Deck 11 Cannes aft has the Club Conte Grande 1927, an elegant Tuscan Steakhouse. Forward is the Gym Saturnia 1927. Deck 12 Funchal forward has the Squok Club, a children's area and supervised fun and games that little Marcello loved and a spiral water slide. Aft are the playing courts for adults. In addition to three sets of passengers elevators, the decks are connected by three grand stairways, each one decorated with a different theme: the forward stairway is decorated with panels painted by Luigi Voltolina representing the life aboard the old transatlantic liners; the midship stairway was decorated by the painter Paolo Grimaldi with panels dedicated to famous Italian navigators, Cristoforo Colombo, Marco Polo, Amerigo Vespucci, Sebastiano Caboto, etc.; The aft stairway is dedicated to the ports of call which name the decks of the Fortuna, decorated by Riccardo Benvenuti. Mr. Farcus dedicated the motif of the Costa Fortuna to two decades, the 1920's and 1930's, and the art on board is indicative of those years, when the grand ships were the major mode of crossing the oceans. It was during this era that the magnificent Italian Rex captured the The Blue Riband from the German Bremen in 1933 making the fastest transatlantic crossing to that date. For Italians, the Rex still remains the symbol of elegance, luxury and the magic of ocean voyages. The elevator doors show reproductions of stylized Commercial Art portrayals of 20s & 30s elegant travelers reflecting the internal art of the Rex 1932 originally done by Vittorio Accornero. While in the corridors, there are images of the same period dedicated to the life on board the Conte di Savoia 1932 done by Franz Lenhart. The Ship Neptunia 1932 was the first Italian passenger liner to have "Classe Unica" or one class. This is a democratic achievement that even to this day the Cunard Lines have not made. On Costa all passengers are equal. This has led to Costa's motto of Italian Style cruising, which includes international and cosmopolitan passengers. The conversations among passengers heard everywhere on board are generally in the following languages: Italian, French, German, Spanish, English, etc. It is the international mixture on Costa that makes it the No.1 cruise line in Europe. SERVICE & FOOD Guest Relations Manager Martina Fantoni should be proud of the service provided to the passengers. The credit for the outstanding service in all dining rooms goes to the 1st Maitre D' Gaetano Gerocarni, whom we befriended aboard. Of course, it is in the dining rooms, where most passengers recognize gallant treatment: Fine dining, fine linens, fine table settings with candles, fine music and of course fine food. This describes the main dining rooms; wait until you go to the Club Conte Grande 1927, the Tuscan Steakhouse on Deck 11, the highest point of the Fortuna! In this upscale restaurant the table is set with Versace chargers and china and the table cloths and napkins are gold brocade. All complement the fantastic recipes of the noted Genovese chef Zefferino. The ambiance is enhanced by the pianist Antonio Salomone's excellent repertoire of the following: "Le Mer," "Moon River," "Smile," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," etc.... The warmth of the dEcor is created in rusts and browns, juxtaposed by black and white marble flooring in geometric patterns. We had an excellent meal of crab cakes, Bresaola con Rugala and Parmigiano Reggiano, Insalata Caprese of tomato and Mozzarella di Bufala, Caesar Salad; home made pasta; entrees were Beef Filet, a 12 0z. Veal chop, etc.; desserts were Tiramisu and Crème Brule` topped with raspberry coulis. Naturally, the mellow finish was Prosecco bubbly. Our Maitre D' Gustavo Portuondo and Head Waiter Roberto Gutierrez kept close tabs on everything. We felt the elegance of the evening for days to come. Dinner in the Raffaello restaurant each evening was a delight. With our friend of many years, 2nd Maitre D' Raffaele Bailo creating happy times with his recorded medleys of famous Neapolitan and classic Italian songs. Signor Bailo is retiring soon. Costa will have a hard time finding another man like him, for he is the Italian Festive flavor of the Costa dining rooms. We know that we will certainly miss him. Maitre D' Bartolo Vitiello gave us a special table near the entrance, which made it much easier with the wheel chair. On board our friend Chef Antonio De Luca treated us to al dente spaghetti with crab meat, and for our anniversary prepared for us a special Pastiera, a delicious Neapolitan Cheese Cake, which we shared with our new companions at the next table, all delightful French Canadians. We made a new friend Executive Chef Ciro Perfetto who should be congratulated on the excellent cuisine daily. Wonderful choices are perfectly prepared. We also met his son Chef Francesco Perfetto in the Tuscan Steakhouse. It's wonderful to see him carrying on his father's traditions so capably. Our waiter in the Raffaello Dining Room was Edwin Fernandez; he and his Asst. Collin Seguerira were marvelous all week, especially to our grandson. Little Marcello especially enjoyed the chicken tenders and fries and leading the Conga Line throughout the dining room! Frequently, we had lunch in the Michelangelo Dining room where our friend 2nd Maitre D' Marcantonio De Candia always accommodated us with a nice table and selected for us some special appetizers. Here we also met 2nd Maitre D' Carmelo Onorini, whom we had recognized from previous cruises on Princess ships. Both of them, Marcantonio and Carmelo treated us magnificently and made us feel welcome every time we entered the restaurant. CABIN Cabin #6207 on Deck 6, all the way forward, is nicely decorated in the traditional Costa woods and nautical colors. There are two framed sketches on the walls in keeping with the 20s and 30s art of the ship. When entering on the right is a large bathroom, with a shower seat and safety rails all around. The turquoise tiles were very pretty. Then, there is one end table with a lamp, a king size bed, a medium size coffee table and two upholstered chairs. We had continental breakfast here every morning. It was prompt, hot and delicious. When entering on the right there is a double armoire, a single one is across the door way. There are plenty of shelves and hangers, and a personal safe. Next, there is a lighted, mirrored vanity/desk with four drawers, a refrigerator and a TV. The balcony is small and not too private, since it is located near an exit to the prow of the ship. When compared with the handicapped cabins on the Princess Lines, Costa's are much smaller and located too far from the central elevators. Princess clusters these cabins near the elevators, and so do the Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Lines. The last two have much larger cabins and balconies; on the Norwegian Dawn last month both the cabin and balcony are huge. There is another problem of the prow location: the wind on the balcony is so strong that the balcony cannot be used in the evenings when the ship is going at full speed. It is actually dangerous. Next time, we will try for a mini suite or suite. This cabin was so small that we had to park the wheelchair in the bathroom! The cabin steward Francis Baldo was phenomenal. He anticipated our every need. ENTERTAINMENT Cruise Director Max Bertolotto is suave, debonair and handsome. He has the ship's activities running like clockwork. We met him on board the Costa ships over twelve years ago, but now he is truly magnificent. There's Bingo, Dancing and Dance Lessons, fitness programs, Italian Lessons, etc.... Cruising Italian style is great for making new friends. There are feasts with games like bocce, toga parties and Roman Bacchanals. The shows are many and varied with singers, dancers and comedians. We especially enjoyed hearing once again John Ciotta the tenor from New York, who wowed the audience and earned a standing ovation. There is something for everyone and even quiet places to read or do crossword puzzles. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA Sail Away 5:00pm Day 2. At Sea, we are sailing southeasterly. Day 3. San Juan, Puerto Rico Arrive 5:00pm Depart 11:30pm An interesting excursion includes a visit to the Bacardi Rum Distillery and a tour of San Juan by night. Day 4. St. Thomas, USVI Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm This is a great place for shopping. An interesting tour includes the Skyline Drive and the mountain top view of other Virgin Islands and the famous Magen Bay. Day 5. Catalina Island Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm This is Costa's private island where the passengers can enjoy the beach resort facilities such as chairs and umbrellas and the BBQ offered free of charge. However, several types of water sport activities are offered by independent operators not connected to Costa. Costa Cruises discourages the use of these activities. Day 5. Evening La Romana Arrive 6:00pm Depart 11:00pm La Romana is only 5miles from Catilina Island. The only excursion offered in this port is a tour to Altos de Chavon arena which features a musical show with local rhythms and dances. Day 6. At Sea --- Sea Depth sometimes is approx. 5,500 meters. Day 7. Nassau, Bahamas Arrive 1:00pm Depart 6:00pm A favorite excursion for us is a visit to Paradise Island and Atlantis with its beautiful Aquarium. Day 8. Ft. Lauderdale, FL Arrive 7:00am DEBARKATION Guest Relations Manager Martina Fantoni arranged for wheelchair assistance from our cabin. We had a twenty minute wait in the Atrium, because ship personnel are not allowed to wheel passengers off, only Port workers with security clearance can go off the ship. We were off to passport check, baggage pick up and customs, all in a matter of 15 minutes. Nice job Costa! However, we had a half hour wait for Marcello to get the car from the Port Parking Garage. The traffic in port is extremely heavy and congested, since many other cruise ships arrive on Sunday; however, the I-95 traffic was light and we were home in Boca Raton, FL in less than 35 minutes. SUGGESTIONS The ship's atmosphere gives cruisers opportunities to meet so many cosmopolitan people. The fascinating Captains, Passenger Service Directors, Maitre D's and performers are all in extreme proximity, very friendly and most apt to strike up a conversation with cruisers. Meeting new people and seeing new places is what cruising is all about. That is why we love "cruising Italian style"! It has been more than ten years since our first cruise on Costa ships. But the last few years both of us have developed ambulatory problems, first Vincent and then Mary requiring wheelchair assistance, thus we book wheelchair accessible cabins. In our cruise reviews we have frequently suggested that wheelchair accessible cabins should be centrally located in order to facilitate the wheelchair bound people to access every important place, from the dining room to the theater, with minimal effort. However, our suggestions to make cruise ships more wheelchair friendly have not been heard by those individuals involved in the planning and design of new ships in the Costa and Carnival Cruise lines, since there has been no effort to centrally locate the wheelchair accessible cabins. In our opinion the cruise lines that have given the best effort in making their new ships most friendly to wheelchair bound passengers are Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Our next cruise will be on the Star Princess, Feb. 19th sailing from Buenos Aires to Antarctica. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
My husband and I just returned from the January 6th sailing - leaving from Fort Lauderdale. Stops were Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Grand Turk. This was our 25th cruise and our first on Costa. I would like to add my viewpoint ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the January 6th sailing - leaving from Fort Lauderdale. Stops were Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Grand Turk. This was our 25th cruise and our first on Costa. I would like to add my viewpoint regarding some of the issues addressed by other cruise critic members. Realizing that everyone has their own individual tastes, experiences and expectations, this review is just our opinion. The ship was very attractive - with unique murals everywhere in the public areas. It certainly was not the easiest ship to get around. It was quite awkward in many ways, but we managed to find our way, just like everyone else. The crew in the dining room and cabins were consistently friendly and helpful. The food was certainly a 4 out of 5. Some of the dishes were so excellent, it was amazing. Without a doubt the breakfasts were the best we've ever had on any cruise line - with wonderful pastries and complimentary cappuccinos...just fabulous. The Lido buffet could use a lot of improvement- as an example, the pastas and pizzas were not hot enough - just a waste of precious calories. We had the late seating for dinner, and were surprised that young children were in the dining room at that time. Since we wanted an adult experience, it was annoying hearing little ones crying or screaming and their parents trying to cajole them. So, a suggestion I would make to Costa, is to seat young families at the early seating and make the late seating adult only. We thought that a couple of the individual entertainers were really excellent, but that the shows with the Costa singers and dancers were mediocre. However, their costumes were creative....and the band was talented too. We had an outside cabin, which was very nice. Plenty of storage, a full size couch...a bed high enough to store luggage underneath. The bathroom was ok, but the floor did flood every time we showered. Oh well, there were plenty of towels to mop it. Shower curtains never work very well. The gym is nicely equipped, however aerobic classes are held poolside. With all the wonderful dance floors and lounges that the ship has, they should hold these classes at an inside location. Perhaps too, they should have some kind of sports program to earn tee shirts, hats...to get people exercising. In any event, no cruise or cruise line is perfect - but the Costa cruise was certainly lots of fun with good food, lovely ship and good times. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Background: 30-35 yr-old professionals without children - 1st-time cruisers - booked online. Embarkation: Was a breeze - no line up. We arrived arnd lunch time after a 7-10 minute taxi ride fr Ft Lauderdale airport. Be sure to go to yr ... Read More
Background: 30-35 yr-old professionals without children - 1st-time cruisers - booked online. Embarkation: Was a breeze - no line up. We arrived arnd lunch time after a 7-10 minute taxi ride fr Ft Lauderdale airport. Be sure to go to yr cabin 1st as yr expense card is left there and the door is open. We were hungry and unable to leave the port but we were told there was a welcome buffet waiting for us on board. Demographics on board: probably 70%+ 50 yrs-old n more; 15% 30-50 yrs old; 15% under 30. Food: Abundant, very abundant and available almost anytime. Water, tea, coffee n pizza all day n almost all night; fruit salad all day. Regular breakfast buffet til late morning, same items everyday. Some additional items in restaurants for breakfast. Alcoholic beverages were quite expensive though. Lunch n dinner were good but not great. Do take anything veal or lamb at dinner, these were the best. Service was great. Cabin: Just like advertised, very much enough and comfortable, although some might think the bed and pillow a bit too firm. We didn't miss the window as we didn't spend much time in the cabin. However we tended to oversleep in the morning because of the absence of sunlight to wake us up. Entertainment: We attended some shows but didn't really participate in any of the many small events, like Italian courses, dance lessons on deck, karaoke, etc. Except for the dance lessons, guest participation was not really vivid - don't expect Club Med-like fun. The singers n dancers were good but the shows themselves were just a way to spend time after dinner. Unfortunately the clubs were not very alive from what we saw. But we were not bored, there was always sthing to do, eat or look at, n just lying on the sunny decks is fine too! Ports: We didn't take any excursions, we took the taxi or walked to explore ourselves. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico(6-12 pm): The nicest stop of the 5, too bad we had only 6 hrs in Puerto Rico. With good walking shoes, you can just walk arnd the cobbled, Spanish-flavored streets from 1 extremity to another. St-Thomas(8am-5pm): Of u're not into jewelry shopping, not too much to see... We took the taxi-bus to Megan's Bay, quite renowned beach. Cute bay but thin n over-crowded strip of beach. I've seen much more beautiful beaches. Catalina isle, Dominican Rep-private beach of Casa de Campo resort(8-5pm): Just a day at the beach-pleasant, with lots of BBQ, and a good buffet prepared on site under nice permanent concrete installations. La Romana, Dom. Rep.(6-11pm): The only interest there was Altos de Chavon-cute rebuilding of mediterranean ruins n village. Nassau, Bahamas(1-6): We spent the whole time there in the Atlantis resort, looking at the various aquariums. It's free to get in the main area where you can see only a facade of the main aquarium. $32 gives access to the rest of the aquarium, the pool n beach areas that contain various aquariums n ponds that lodge sharks n other big fish. We enjoyed the tunnel inside the aquarium. Disembarkation: A bit of a mess because they deliver the expenses statement on the day, and they are to be paid or contested just before leaving the boat. The wait time was more than an hour. We had to contest an item and we nearly missed our scheduled disembarkation time. Overall we had a great vacation, I was just pointing out some details that we would have liked to know while booking. We'll certainly go on another cruise but we'll try another line next time. Hope it helped =) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
Background: We are a couple in our early to late fifties and have been on other cruises, the last one December 2006 on Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas - this was our first Costa cruise. Traveled by car to Ft. Lauderdale on ... Read More
Background: We are a couple in our early to late fifties and have been on other cruises, the last one December 2006 on Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas - this was our first Costa cruise. Traveled by car to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, the night before our cruise. Stayed at the LaQuinta Inn at Hollywood in a very nice room. They allowed us to park our car there for the week at no extra charge and transported us to Port Everglades. Embarkation: We arrived at port about 12:30 and proceeded to the check-in counter immediately. We checked in and went right on board, very smooth. We went right up to deck 9 for a nice buffet lunch and chatted with another couple while waiting to get into our rooms after 1. Food was very good and the atmosphere was very festive. Proceeded to our cabin #7430 at 1:30 and everything was ready. The room was a bit bigger than other ships we have been on and we had a nice veranda aft of the ship. Everything was clean as a whistle and our costa cards were on our bed. One thing I did find strange was that the door was wide open and anyone could get in. A couple we were at dinner with told us that when they went to their cabin, another couple was in there enjoying their champagne and canapes (thought it was their cabin), but all got straightened out. Our bags came about 2:30 which I thought was very timely. I was able to unpack before dinner with enough time to go to muster and look around the ship. The Ship: It was the largest cruise ship we have been on and it was very beautiful but my husband and I both remarked on how dark it seemed. We have been on lighter ships on RCI which we like better. The most impressive public room in my opinion was the Leonardo DaVinci lounge which had beautiful Renaissance paintings. Food & Service: We thought the food was good to very good and had good service in the Michelangelo Dining room but our table unfortunately was in the back so we missed some of the festivities. The buffets were adequate to good and the pasta and pizza was excellent. We enjoyed wine every night at dinner courtesy of the X1 package we ordered. That went very well. Ports: San Juan was a waste as it was Xmas evening when we got there so we just walked around then came back. St. Marten was nice and we took a private excursion on the Lord Sheffield and had a great time although I took a little sea sick. My husband snorkeled right off the ship. On Tortola we enjoyed an excursion with the ship to Virgin Gorda and the Baths which were well worth exploring but a little scary. I did think the excursion group with Costa could have done a better job of keeping track of us and help guide us through the caves, however. Grand Turks was very pretty but we just stayed near the ship and went over to Margaritaville for a while and watched the festivities which were fun. Entertainment: We only caught two shows which were ok. The bands were good and the cruise director and staff were very entertaining. We especially enjoyed Italian night and the Roman Toga night which I wish had been earlier as we would have liked to stay up later for more fun but it was our last night and we had an early call. Debarkation: Very smooth. We were the second group out and were in our taxi by 8:30. Overall Opinion: We had rather low expectations of Costa due to some of the reviews we read but I believe they greatly exceeded our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and if the price were right would definitely cruise Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
Overall our cruise was a great experience. There were some things that were better than others but overall we had a great week aboard the Costa Fortuna (12/16-12/23). We are a family of 4 (two 30+ with 7 and 4 year old), traveling with ... Read More
Overall our cruise was a great experience. There were some things that were better than others but overall we had a great week aboard the Costa Fortuna (12/16-12/23). We are a family of 4 (two 30+ with 7 and 4 year old), traveling with my parents (60's). We have all cruised many times. I believe this was my parents 42nd cruise! We had also sailed Costa several times in the 90's. We arrived at Port Everglades by van at approximately 11:40 am and had to wait almost 15 minutes just to get through the port security. I believe there were at least 6 ships in on the 16th. Dropping off the luggage and proceeding to the check-in was very smooth. There was a short line out front but I believe it was for luggage tags. The wait for security was just a few minutes and then only a few more minutes to check in. It went extremely fast. We are Coral members of the Costa Club but didn't get our documentation until on the ship so we just checked in the regular lines and it was just about as fast as the expedited check in for Coral and Pearl members! We were in room 8271 a balcony room for 4. It was HUGE... as far a cruise ship rooms go. We were very pleased at the size of the room and the bathroom. They were both much bigger than the balcony rooms we have had on Princess and Royal Caribbean. We actually had three full size twin beds (the 4th was a bunk) and there was still carpet you could see (actually a real nice roomy space). The third twin bed was a couch in rooms for two. The bedding on the double bed was very nice and the bed was firm but we found that just to our liking. The balcony itself was a little small, it was kind of tight with 4 of us out there. Our room steward Christopher was excellent. We had 1st seating for dinner in the Michelangelo restaurant and Roy was our waiter. He was EXCELLENT. We had no trouble with slow service. The only complaint, if I had to make one, is that sometimes my water glass was empty for a while, but that is probably just me I drink a lot of water. The food in the dining room was excellent. I would highly recommend the chocolate soufflE the first night and the rack of lamb a few nights later they were my favorite. We also really enjoyed the pasta course. Costa really does have the best pasta. It just amazes me how they can cook pasta perfect every time when they are cooking for thousands and I can't get it right every time at home for 4! The food on the buffet upstairs was good. We enjoyed the omelet stations almost every morning. The food was also very hot. It seemed like Costa did a better job at keeping all the food hot then other lines. The pasta stations at lunch were also very good. Since this was a "kids sail free" sailing there were a lot of kids on board. We noticed it a lot at the two main pools and associated hot tubs during the day. You really couldn't just get in and swim as there were so many kids jumping and splashing constantly. We did use the adults only pool most of the time when the kids were in the squok club. Costa had a security person that kept the kids out the adult only pool. The kids didn't really like the squok club as much as they have enjoyed the kids program on other ships. They said they didn't really have a whole lot of scheduled activities but just more free time play. There were also many different languages being spoken and I'm not sure how the kids communicated between themselves but the counselors spoke many languages. They both gathered squokers and were able to get some nice gifts (hat, Frisbee, wallet, etc..) at the end of the cruise. We didn't do a lot at the ports, as either the hours didn't work for us or we had been there many times before. We did enjoy the beach day at Catalina Island very much. The kids and I didn't even get off the ship in Puerto Rico, La Romana, or Nassau. We didn't really like the layout of the ship as there really weren't any good areas to walk around and just get some exercise, but that has all been said before. However, the ship's central lobby was beautifully decorated for the holidays. There was some "sickness" going around the ship, both kids had it and my husband and I had just a very mild version. Towards the middle of the week the sanitizing wipes started coming out at the buffet entrances. It was disappointing but didn't ruin our cruise. I do think Costa could do better with having hand sanitizer available all the time. We didn't go to any of the shows so I can't offer anything on them. Overall it was a great cruise and I would definitely sail on Costa again, especially when kids sail free! 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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