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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We did the 7 Night Cruise June 2019 Started at Genoa and did France Spain and back to Italy on the Costa Fortuna. Rooms were great like most cruise ships, clean and always well looked after by our stewart. The food was amazing in ... Read More
We did the 7 Night Cruise June 2019 Started at Genoa and did France Spain and back to Italy on the Costa Fortuna. Rooms were great like most cruise ships, clean and always well looked after by our stewart. The food was amazing in our eyes , fresh pasta and always nice and hot if your wanting that little extra , the Dinners and Breakfasts in the diffrenet rooms around the ship were fantastic and the atmosphere was also great The ship was easy to get around and plenty to do on board The Casino Staff were great to chat with and always very Friendly Must say that if your after a great fun holiday , it rate this ship 9/10 This was our 12th cruise but first in the Medditerainan and must say we really enjoyed it and would do the same Ship again Hope you enoy like we did Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we happened to be going from Singapore to Rome. The price was outstanding, so despite the generally poor reviews, we tried Costa. Shazaam!...now we’re big Costa fans! The ship is good, but the crew is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we happened to be going from Singapore to Rome. The price was outstanding, so despite the generally poor reviews, we tried Costa. Shazaam!...now we’re big Costa fans! The ship is good, but the crew is amazing. Costa (or at least the Fortuna) clearly has the secret sauce recipe for keeping its crew (apparently) happy and very highly effective. Here’s some specifics: I’m an early riser, so I see the crew going at it when the guests are generally not watching. Every morning at 0430, they were energetically cleaning some new corner of the ship that I never even thought of...ceilings, corners where no one ever goes, the disco ball, under imovable chairs... And it really looked like a whistle-while-you-work operation, not a begrudging surface wipe-down so they could get back to standing around. This crew was always working hard and behaving upbeat. It’s all members of the crew, to. Waiters, cleaners, pool attendants, front desk personel, chefs...It’s systematic on Fortuna. On most days, they washed our cabin windows...on the OUTSIDE! In my limited cruising experience on other lines, I’ve never seen that done before. Service (all areas) was highly professional and FAIR. Perhaps it’s the Costa compulsory pre-paid tips model, but the crew is not at all pandering or obsequious (like all other cruise lines). They know their operating orders, and they do them. Full stop. Everyone gets the same professional treatment, so sometimes no means no, but at least it’s the same answer for everyone. Embarking and debarking was smooth in every port. Now the ports were generally awful (remote, barren, industrial, totally uninteresting), but at least they were managed well by the crew. The ports you can research beforehand, so you know what you are buying. Arrival and departure was in exact agreement with the published schedule. The food is over-the-top excellent! Stick with the Italian fare, and you’re in for quite a treat. Each day was the food of a different region of Italy, explained on the menu. My wife and I do not eat pasta, so what, you may ask, did we so happily eat? All the awesome non-pasta Italian dishes, which is most of them! We’re not exactly Italian foodies, so we did not know what to expect. The reviews had us concerned it was going to be all pasta, all the time. But nothing could have been further from the truth. Every lunch and dinner was a truly wonderful experience. Fortuna 100% changed (for the better) our opinion and appreciation of Italian food. As an Italian cruise line, you’ll be travelling with lots of Italians, living their Italian way. What a happy atmosphere! All the great older Italian couples kissing, dancing, holding hands, cheering, speaking loudly with every part of their body...come get your Italy on! Having experienced various US and Asia cruisers before, these Italians were a very fresh breath of air. On the down-side, there wasn’t a good promenade deck. The track is always too windy, too sunny, or too full. The outer “promenade” on deck three is small and usually full of smokers (half crew). The hot tubs were awful...not nearly hot enough, yet always full. We tried them once, showered 5 times with soap and scrubbie, and never stuck our toe in again. There was no TV movie schedule, not even if you beg the hospitality desk. Most surprisingly, their espresso was highly disappointing. We tried it several times, expecting good Italian slap-in-face robustness, but instead got more of a poke-in-the-eye. The gym is also rather disappointing. It looks like a converted dance club. It’s odd shape and design makes most ofthe floor space unusable. That’s ok, we used Rex Theater for our yoga and cross-training, and that usually worked fine (at carefully chosen times). So ten cheers for Costa Fortuna, the fantastic crew, and it’s proud representation of (almost) all things Italy. We can’t wait for more Costa cruises! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My wife really enjoyed the shows performed by the Italian / western artists and paid extra to watch the late night show. My boy liked the play group. There were 136 children in the group and the staff appeared overwhelmed. All later ... Read More
My wife really enjoyed the shows performed by the Italian / western artists and paid extra to watch the late night show. My boy liked the play group. There were 136 children in the group and the staff appeared overwhelmed. All later activities required the participation of a parent. The cruise should have allocated more staff to take care of the children so the parents could go and play, even for an hour. I liked the ship tour. The cruise app worked very well on my Android phone. I could use the app to call the phone of my room. But it didn't work on my wife's iPhone. The cruise appeared to provide free data occasionally. I did subscribe to the cruise data plan, however. The sea between Naha and Taiwan was very rough and once the lift I rode stopped abruptly for a few seconds because the ship tilted too much. Luckily the ship crossed the sea at night but I still felt the ship went up and down 10 feet when lying on my bed for a few hours. On the first day in Naha we disembarked at 12 noon. We went to Shuri Castle, Urasoe Dai Park, and Kokusai Doori. I wanted to go to Hacksaw Ridge, which is 30 mins hike from the Urasoe Dai Park, but we spent too much time in the playground and it was getting dark so we skipped the Ridge. On the second day we disembarked at 10am and went to Omoromachi. We briefly visited Okinawa Prefectural Museum, and went to the supermarket to purchase some food and cookies. The ship would leave at 12:30 noon so we were in a hurry. The plug of the bathroom sink stuck. I called the operator at 2am and a repairman arrived in 10 minutes to fix it We were fortunate to have this Italian cruise experience. I have heard the Fortuna is heading back to Europe in 2019. We live in Hong Kong and boarded the ship heading to Naha at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. The ship stopped at Naha for two days then sailed back to Hong Kong. We spent our 2017 Christmas Day on the ship. See my pictures. They worth thousands words I guess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
After reading many negative reviews was a bit hesitant to book and wasn't expecting anything exceptional, well We were surprised we travelled as a group of eight and found the cruise to be very enjoyable. have cruised with ... Read More
After reading many negative reviews was a bit hesitant to book and wasn't expecting anything exceptional, well We were surprised we travelled as a group of eight and found the cruise to be very enjoyable. have cruised with four other lines and found costa to be the most memorable. boarding was quick as was disembarkation . the entertainment and activities were well planned, Décor at first was overwhelming to many patterns on the walls couldn't tell a door from a wall but we got used to it. after the third day. we were in minority as only minimal English speaking passengers on board but staff were courteous and tried very hard to communicate with us. We had a balcony cabin on deck 6 our room was always clean even though we never saw our cabin steward. we only took a few organized tours and did other ports of call independently. The ship offered shuttle buses to town at ports where transport was needed, in our opinion it was not expensive and worth the cost as it was convenient due to being easy not having any hassles trying to find your own way as you are only in port a minimal amount of time. Time is whats valuable. only negative we had was the drinks package while it was good value if you are a heavy drinker everyone in the cabin was expected to buy it. was not catered for individuals. we were three in a cabin and two drank little alcohol so there would of been no value for everyone to buy the package . also the food was ok but the same thing every day with no variety at the buffet . restaurant food was just ok nothing flash .but same food just a different name each night with a different dressing . if you wanted anything special on the menu you had to pay extra for it . all in all the cruise had a European vibe and that's why we took it . it was a fun ship to be on . We would cruise costa again ports visited Savona, Marseilles, Palama Majorca, Cadiz, Malaga, Lisbon, La Coruna, Le Havre, Dover , Amsterdam. only regret we had was we opted to take a shore tour in Lisbon . advertised 5 hrs 4WD to see all the country sites around Portugal. It was useless spent most of the time sitting in traffic and driving through bush stop for a quick photo stop at a lookout then only had 30 minutes at the final destination which was beautiful needed at least two hours there better to have spent the day in Lisbon town independently. Traffic Not Costas fault but this tour was overrated not worth the money spent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
This year we picked a cruise in the western Mediterranean from Savona (Italy, near Genova), to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona and back to Savona. We were a party of five, two couples and me as a solo traveller. To ... Read More
This year we picked a cruise in the western Mediterranean from Savona (Italy, near Genova), to Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona and back to Savona. We were a party of five, two couples and me as a solo traveller. To get to Savona we booked the bus transfer from Munich which took about 9 hours during the night and was very comfortable and less exhausting than I expected. Check-in was quick and well organized but a bit later than expected. The service on board was sometimes very good (restaurant, room), sometimes rather bad (bar service). I was travelling without a partner, but with family and friends. It seemed like I was fair game to several Costa employees. On the first night my phone rang at 11:30 p.m. Someone who knew my first name said I looked sexy and he wanted to see me in private. I told him that I found this quite inapppropriate and hung up. The next day he called again. I asked for his name and he said he wouldn't tell as he feared I would report it. I told him I knew who he was (I had an idea) and I wanted him to stop bothering me. Then it was "quiet" for a few days. Another night I was asked by several waiters separately to meet in a private place. One of them stared at me the whole time during dinner. One told me he would be coming to my cabin at midnight. The other one said he'd call me. I said no again. I was not encouraging them in any way, I was with my parents and friends. I really dislike doing that but at that point I started threating to report them. Well, that was not so cool. For some solo travellers this might be what they are looking for. Not for everyone. Back to the cruise itself: the animation and music was loud and fast and everywhere. There was one bar with life music that actually made it possilbe to talk while enjoying a drink. At night they had a "piano bar" in the club restaurant but no drinks were served there. I loved the classical to modern piano music, but without anything to drink it's not so great either. I didn't take part in any of the pool games, but the dancing lessons looked fun. We spent most of the time on the aft pool on deck 9 where it was quieter. The restaurant was huge but we had a nice table near the aft windows with great views and it wasn't too loud either. We had the first sitting at 6:30 p.m. which wasn't perfect for me as I like to watch the ship leaving port and the sunset. The food was awesome however. Modern italian cuisine, served in beautiful arrangements. I enjoyed every meal. I bought the boys and girls drinks package and a water package, both very good deals if you are ok with non-alcoholic drinks. The fresh squeezed orange juice kept me alive and the cocktails without alcohol were included, too. I only saw one show at the theater: the flamenco show. It was very professional, beautiful and as everything else really loud. We also went to a presentation about the ship. Technical data, personnel, departments etc. Very interesting, we got a lot of information in a very entertaining way. The 10 days were over in what felt like a few hours. Disembarkation was quick and easy and when we left the ship there was a delegation waving goodbye. Not so great was the search for our Costa-organized bus back to Munich, Germany. We couldn't find the bus or anyone who knew anything about it. Later a fellow traveller who had found the bus by accident informed us where it was parked. The bus trip itself was a bit weird, too, e.g. At the gas station the drivers told us we couldn't get off the bus while they sat next to the petrol pump smoking their cigarettes. All things considered we had a good time and we saw great places. Not everything went well, but everything that mattered was fine and most problems could be solved. In my opinion Costa is not the perfect Cruise Line, but for the price they offer a lot and something for everyone. I would definitely book with them again. Ports of Call: Malaga (Spain): we took the Costa shuttle bus which cost about 7 Euros and took us to the city center. We ended up on a bus tour of 20 minutes inside the port area before they let us out at a spot we had passed after about 5 minutes of driving. The city center was only a short walk away and it's a very romantic, touristy place with lots of shops and tapas bars. Some of the bars offer very cheap arrangements, like 4 tapas for 10 Euros etc., but in our opinion it's worth paying a bit more and getting typical, more work intensive tapas than just olives and ham. We had a great lunch at a pretty wood-furnished place plus free internet. While my fellow travellers took the bus back to the ship I walked through a beautiful park by the sea toward the yacht port. I very much enjoyed browsing the somewhat more sophisticated stores and a drink in one of the modern open air lounges. They have a walkway covered with white sails and spraying cold water from above. There's also a little blue train (one of those open trains you'd find in amusement parks also) that takes you to the ships for 3 Euros. Unfortunately I didn't have time to make it to the beach which looked very beautiful from afar. Definitely a good place for a first good impression of Spain. Casablanca (Morocco): Our plan was to visit the Hassan II mosque, have lunch at Rick's Cafe and go to the souk for some souvenir shopping. No taxi or anyone without a Costa card was allowed to come closer than 500 m to the ship for security purposes, so we walked to the gate where a huge group of taxi drivers waited. They virtually jumped at us as soon as we came closer. The only thing they want to sell is full sightseeing tours for horrendous prices (25 Euros per person for 5 people). We told them we needed a ride to the mosque and they started cursing at us. So we started walking and one of the drivers came to us, saying he would take us to the mosque for 5 Euros. Still too much as we learned later but it sounded fair. He had a huge old mercedes in which all 5 of us fit in. After a short ride he tried to talk us into the sightseeing tour and kicked us out as we didn't want to go for it. He said we'd never make it to the mosque or the restaurant which - he told us - was on the other side of the city. A few minutes later we found the restaurant by accident, only about 500 m from the mosque. The Hassan II mosque is very impressive and has a peaceful atmosphere. We did only see it from the outside as going in is only possible in groups and we didn't have enough time. It was still a powerful experience. We found another taxi. The driver was fun and friendly and didn't want money for the short ride from the mosque to the restaurant. He seemed to just enjoy talking to us. Rick's Cafe is a replication done of the cafe in the the classic movie "Casablanca", done in painstaking detail and owned by an american lady. The ambience was breathtaking, the food delicious and we had 3 waiters to our own. For those who really want to experience the classy moroccan 40s this place is a must. On the first floor the movie is running in infinite loop. After lunch we decided to walk through the medina towards the souk. It was a somewhat unpleasant and uncomfortable walk in a very dirty part of the city, with people staring at us. The souk (market) is basically one street with lots of clothes and a few stands aimed at tourists. The shop owners seemed quite uninterested. At the end of the day we found a nice little bar near the port with a comfy lounge area before we went back to the ship. This city is not a tourist place and one can feel that everywhere. Cadiz (Spain): Beautiful city! The port is only a short walk from the inner city, but we took a tour on a hop-on-hop-off-bus, which took us in a circle around the city. Well almost, but part of the street was closed. I started walking around by myself and it was easy to find all the interesting sights. The cathedral was closed but we were allowed to peek in and take some pictures. There are a lot of nice places to discover and the beaches are worth a visit, too. It blew my mind how intense the colors were. I took my time and sat down at one of the squares to listen to a guy playing flamenco guitar. There are a lot of caribbean looking buildings, some painted in bright colors and palmtrees next to very british looking elegant lightposts. I loved Cadiz. Lisbon (Portugal): Very fun jeep tour to Estoril, Cascais, Cabo da Roca and Sintra. The driver was from Sintra and gave us a lot of information. Offroad was a lot of fun as it had rained a lot the days before and that day, too. Cabo da Roca was absolutely breathtaking, not only because of the really beautiful view but also because of the strong wind. For me it was a highlight, no question. The driver showed us eucalyptus and cork trees and stopped several times at the best locations for pictures. The stop in Sintra was a bit short and since it started raining - no, pouring: the street became a river in no time - there was no time to visit any of the amazing palaces. I had planned to go to the Quina la Regaleira, the palace that was built by a freemason and has symbols everywhere. The most amazing thing there must be the initiantion well, an inversely built tower. At the bottom you have to make a choice to get out. I will definitely come back to Sintra. I didn't see much of Lisbon, but I had a great day. Valencia (Spain): We only had one afternoon in Valencia. We took the Costa shuttle bus to the city center. The port is way too far to walk. Valencia is a big city with a beautiful old city center. In the cathedral which is built in several different architectural styles the holy grail is on display. Fact is, the chalice is about 2000 years old, which makes it interesting to see in any case. The city is beautiful with a lot of small plazas to discover. I didn't see most of them though as I met with some friends to go do a game called "The X-Door". It's a detective game. They lock you (a group of 2-5 people) in a room for 60 minutes and you have to try to escape by finding clues and solving riddles. We made it in 49 minutes with one hint by the owner who watched us on video all the time. No worries, there's an escape button in case someone panics. It's a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone who is getting tired of sighseeing. Don't try to walk there though. Take a taxi. It's far. Barcelona (Spain): In Barcelona we only had a few hours from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., we just took the shuttle bus to the port exit, then the subway straight to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. I had bough the tickets online in advance and we hat the time slot 9:45-10:00 to go in without waiting. Buy a ticket there and wait up to 2 hours to get in. The cathedral is breathtaking. Gaudi, the art, the light, the music. Inside they show a film with the building plans up to 2026, when it's supposed to be finished. The cathedral is a must see. On the way back we crossed the Les Rambles, a broad street with a huge market. Unfortunately we had no time to browse the stalls. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was not my family’s first time on a cruise liner, however Costa surpassed our expectations. Our trip immediately started on a good note. Even though we were quite skeptical for the embarkation procedure I have to say it was ... Read More
This was not my family’s first time on a cruise liner, however Costa surpassed our expectations. Our trip immediately started on a good note. Even though we were quite skeptical for the embarkation procedure I have to say it was flawless. The staff was very helpful and midday sharp we boarded the ship, an hour before planned. As soon as we boarded the ship we were instructed that lunch was available at the Christopher Columbus restaurant. The food was excellent, both quality and quantity were present. At two our rooms were ready. It is easy to note the cleanliness of the ship. The rooms are cleaned twice a day. Before we boarded the ship we had decided to take the all-inclusive beverages packet. I must say that it was an excellent idea. The package has a vast variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Regarding the excursions the Costa crew is very organized and efficient. All our excursions were worth our money. The entire staff on Costa Fortuna is very friendly and does their best to make sure you have the best holiday you can imagine. Throughout the day there are different activities and they continue throughout the night; games, shows and music are never absent. For our disembarkation we had decided to take a final excursion with Costa which ended at the airport. Again we were assisted and everything went according to plan. All in all we had an amazing holiday on Costa Fortuna and we cannot wait to go back on one of their ships!!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
It did not start well - an overnight flight from the UK which was very squashed and uncomfortable (Emirates. VERY disappointing) and then we were in the embarkation area by 9.30am and told we would not have a cabin until 20.00. We were ... Read More
It did not start well - an overnight flight from the UK which was very squashed and uncomfortable (Emirates. VERY disappointing) and then we were in the embarkation area by 9.30am and told we would not have a cabin until 20.00. We were appalled. Luckily we managed to get a good armchair each and catch up on some sleep. Then there was a mad surge forward around 3pm and it was utter chaos. We began to panic thinking we had come on the 'Ryanair' of cruises. However, somehow our chairs were near the front and we slipped into the queue and the embarkation was then painless and quite efficient although I would not have been able to stand for several hours as the people at the back must have done. We went on board and ate on Deck 9 at the lido grill and all was well. I went off to locate our cabin and was told we could not have it until 20.00 (it was 16.00 then and I had a dreadful headache and this seemed totally unreasonable) I spoke to the steward and explained I felt unwell and needed to lie down and amazingly he said we could have the cabin at 18.00 and sure enough we did. After that it was pretty much perfect. We had balcony cabin 8439 at the back of the ship and it was fine. The air conditioning was a little noisy but the main problem was a 'squeaky wardrobe' when the ship was in motion overnight. This really was irritating. Cabin steward Joe anticipated our every need and was faultless, absolutely SUPERB. We ate on the early sitting in the Michelangelo restaurant for 6 nights and at the buffet on deck 9 for one. We didn't care for the pushing and shoving in the self service and greedy people in shorts and singlets piling it high. We didn't go to any of the entertainment as not our thing - we sat on our balcony and read. Bliss. We retired early as all the trips started early. The trips were superb, really enjoyed them all, excellent guides. We did Niswa and Jabrin Castle, Mystical Muscat (LOVED Muscat) Khasab and surroundings, Abu Dhabi and Dubai city tours. All brilliant. We thought the ship was great, we have no complaints about the decor and I especially liked the rear sundeck on deck 9 and the adults only pool which I mostly had to myself every day for half an hour or so. We have confidently recommended Costa cruises to our friends (and everyone sneered when we were going because of what happened to the Concordia) and we will certainly travel with them again if they go where we wish to travel. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My wife and I sailed on Costa Fortuna around the UAE and Oman in febuary for 7 nights. For the price we paid the cruise represented very good value and I would definately use this company again. We have sailed with Celebrity twice and ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Costa Fortuna around the UAE and Oman in febuary for 7 nights. For the price we paid the cruise represented very good value and I would definately use this company again. We have sailed with Celebrity twice and Thomson once previously. Costa are not as polished as the former but are better than Thomsons and this is of course reflected in the amounts charged for the Cruise experience. On all the cruises we have met people who complain at every instance and this is very common. In our experience you sometimes have to take the rough with the smooth.Many of my work collegues have started cruising recently and more are going year on year.Costa had a very european atmosphere in the deck areas a beatifully designed ship and super dance/ballroom area. Pros: great value drinks package(109£). Mens sauna/steam room.Good pizza availalable all day. Good buffet selection but never saw a grape or strawberry all week -a first on a cruise ship. Very clean in dining areas. Lots of supervision . Embarkation day very well managed -best by far-. Highly polished shows -very strong singers combined with high standards of professional dancers and great choreography. The Radio dance show was of an exceptional standard but should have been staged on a Formal night(tuesday). Didnt see the Staff show(never do).Very talented solo artist on another night.English speaking hostess excellent. Cons: constantly watched in the bars.Dont select the cheese/biscuits option-you get cheese currants and bread! times must be hard.... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
After reading all the reviews we were a little worried about the ship but have to say what a great week we had. I went with a girl friend, we try to go to places our husband's don't want to come along to! We had a cabin with ... Read More
After reading all the reviews we were a little worried about the ship but have to say what a great week we had. I went with a girl friend, we try to go to places our husband's don't want to come along to! We had a cabin with balcony 9226, quite enough space for us both after all you are only in there for sleeping! Although the ship was full, we found people seem to disburse themselves around the ship. Most like us did day trips so were on and off the ship at different times. The cruise took us to Muscat, Khasab, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We decided just to do the morning tours to give us a feel of the area in each stop. The guides were all most informative and learnt loads We ate at the 9pm seating. There are two formal restaurants both serving the same food, with sittings of either 6.30 or 9pm and a pizza restaurant which only served pizza. On other cruises I have been on another choice was a buffet restaurant which was much more informal and sometimes a nicer option. With the formal dining most dressed up with two evenings being even more sparkly ! Food was a five course meal with different choices, apart from one dinner could not fault the food. We paid for the drinks package when we booked and certainly felt we drank our quota which was a good deal, ask for this when you book as you do not seem to get an option later on. Breakfast was buffet type serving hot and cold, lunch was the same. Afternoon tea with cakes 4pm to 5pm, so you do not come home thin ! The staff were excellent, so very helpful and always happy. One impressive thing was there was a lifeboat drill for us all to see one morning, with every lifeboat being let down and driven around and then returning to the ship. We would not hesitate to return to another Costa cruise it was all great fun and the sun shone throughout! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
This cruise was something my wife & I had been planning & looking forward to for a very long time & in the end we were more than satisfied & happy with the overall trip! We are experienced cruisers across many lines & ... Read More
This cruise was something my wife & I had been planning & looking forward to for a very long time & in the end we were more than satisfied & happy with the overall trip! We are experienced cruisers across many lines & we mainly chose this cruise because it had an overnight stay in Rio during Carnival celebrations which was a major highlight for us. We knew this Cruise would be a little different & be mainly catering towards the majority of South American passengers, so we went in with an open mind & embraced the experience. Pre cruise we stayed in Buenos Aries for 3 nights at the Kenton Palace hotel, a nice new hotel in a good location. Embarkation at the port of B.A was relatively painless considering we were only two of a handful of people there that day that spoke English. But we understood enough to know what was going on & most staff spoke enough english to guide us along. We were some of the first to board which was very handy. The only bad thing about this port is that it is a working container port & from the Terminal you are ferried away on buses to wherever your ship is docked. This was our first Costa cruise, although we had been on an almost identical build of ship on 3 previous cruises with Carnival who own Costa anyway. The ship was beautiful, especially as it was approaching 10 years old. Most of the ship was in very good condition & was spotlessly clean throughout. As opposed to the Carnival sister ships we had previously been on, this ship had a slightly different layout on the Promenade deck allowing for more bar areas & a smaller casino which was fine for us. Once again there were hardly any English speaking passengers on board but that was fine for us. We enjoy travelling & mixing with other cultures. Any important announcements were made in English & the crew & officers spoke english too. The majority of passengers were from Brazil & quite a lot also from Argentina. These two groups provided for an excellent atmosphere on board, singing, dancing, partying in general. We had cabin 1050, a balcony cabin on deck 10. Great location close to the lifts & not far from the viewing deck at the front of the ship & also just a few steps down onto Lido Deck. The cabin showed a few wear & tear marks but was clean & had everything we needed. The only negative with the cabin was that it had an older TV & you could not check your account or order things off your TV like you can with a lot of other ships. The entertainment on board was pretty good & actually a bit better than expected. The dancers & singers were all of a very good standard & the rest of the bands throughout the ship were very good also. The food in general was good but I think Costa lacks in this area compared to other lines. Firstly, we have previously become big fans of Anytime Dining & this is not something yet offered on Costa. We were assigned a nice table for two in the larger dining room at 7.30pm. The food in the dining room was not awesome but never bad either. Usually enough choice but would have been nice to see regular things like steak, or lasagne offered as an everyday menu item. The buffet was fine for breakfast & lunch but did not offer as many different items as what you may see on other Cruise lines. It would also be great if Costa kept the buffet open for dinner or at least introduce more options as far as pizza's are concerned as these are the only option other than the Dining Room for dinner. As for Drinks, we had purchased a drinks package pre-cruise which worked out to about US$26.00 per day & included a mix of spirits, wines, beers, coffees, etc. It was of really great value however we seemed to think that a lot of the drink staff, especially the drink waiters were not working for tips on this cruise. Many would just walk right by your deck chair without trying to sell you a drink. It was sometimes quicker to go to a Bar & get it yourself. Overall the majority of staff & crew were very nice & professional. Port 1: Montevideo. We did a ships excursion of the general city, suburbs area. It was ok but probably spent a little too much time driving out to see monuments rather than tour grand old buildings, etc. Port 2: Portobelo. This was our first stop in Brazil. We did another ship exc. This was a good touristy day & finished at a popular beach area. Unfortunately the weather was not too great on this day & got very wet waiting for the tender back to ship. Port 3: Santos. This was the real surprise port. We organised a private tour from the Port & it was well worth it. The beach areas along the coastline here were very scenic & everyone so friendly. Port 4: Rio De Janeiro. This port had huge expectations & it delivered. We did a tour to the major sites which we organised at the Port. There were very long lines everywhere we went but this was to be expected due to the influx of tourists for carnival. At night we went to the Sambadrome Parade & this was the major highlight of our trip. Overall we had an excellent cruise. Both Costa & the ship were a little better than we imagined they would be & would not hesitate to cruise with them again! Post cruise we stayed at the very new Boca Juniors Hotel for 1 night & this would be my first choice next time I return to Buenos Aries. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
After reading the majority of the reviews on this site, I was extremely concerned about what we were getting into. I really don't understand all the negative comments. From start to finish everything was flawless, no issues with ... Read More
After reading the majority of the reviews on this site, I was extremely concerned about what we were getting into. I really don't understand all the negative comments. From start to finish everything was flawless, no issues with either embarkation or debarkation. We arrived early to the ship to check-in so were in one of the first groups to check-in and get on the ship. Debarkation was also not a problem with about a 1 hour wait after having breakfast. The room was adequate with enough space to store our luggage and for us to move around. The bed was incredibly comfortable. The one odd thing is that irons are not allowed so you'd have to send out if you wanted your clothes pressed. There is only a generic bath gel in the cabin so bring you're own shampoo and conditioner if your particular. There is a mini-bar in cabin with enough room to store a few items. To ensure the best experience, be sure to sign up for one of the drink packages. J2 is the most expensive, running about $50 US per person, per day, however, this allowed us to order at will any drink up to $7 and not be concerned about racking up a big bar bill. This also then allows you to order from room service and have it delivered in cabin. Definitely spend the extra money for the balcony, it's worth it for the extra space. All of the staff was were super friendly and helpful. We had a chance to visit with both the wait staff in the dining room for dinner, as well as bar and casino staff. They were all amazing! All public areas were well kept and refreshing. Even the day at sea, when we strolled out mid-day we were able to find lounge chairs together. Meals in the dining rooms offered an excellent choice of options. The one area that could possibly use some improvement was the buffet if you decline to make your dinner time, as it was pretty much just pizza and salad the one day we chose this. Another upside is that this cruise is very much European travelers, so you have the international cultures to mix with. Options to get to from airport if you haven't signed up for the transportation with Costa you can also take a cab for the same price. If you want a cheaper option, select the ATVO which is bus transportation that runs non-stop into Piazzale Roma about 4 euros, and then take the People Mover 1 euro from there to the cruise terminal. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
I have recently returned from a wonderful cruise with my parents aboard Costa Fortuna. It was my first cruise but certainly will not be my last. I had read numerous reviews of Costa cruise line and the actual Costa Fortuna ship itself and ... Read More
I have recently returned from a wonderful cruise with my parents aboard Costa Fortuna. It was my first cruise but certainly will not be my last. I had read numerous reviews of Costa cruise line and the actual Costa Fortuna ship itself and was a little apprehensive due to negative comments on some reviews. I needn't have given it a second thought! Costa Fortuna is a very large ship and very well appointed - We thought is was beautiful! It was kept spotless by the very hard working staff aboard. Our cabin was very spacious and was kept clean and tidy by our lovely cabin steward (from Bali). The staff in the restaurants were all very friendly and efficient. Particularly our waiter (Carlo Castro) and assistant waiter (Emmanuel Perillo) in the MichaelAngelo restaurant - nothing was a trouble to them and they were always smiling. They made each meal a pleasure. The food was great - always plenty of choice (even for me as a vegetarian). The evening meal was up to 7 courses but none of the courses were huge so you left the restaurant pleasantly satisfied. The drinks are very expensive so its best to buy a 'package' if you are planning to drink wine with your meal. There were 2 'formal' evenings. Although most people were smartly dressed every evening, these 2 evenings, people were dressed more smartly - I didn't see any men dressed in dinner suit except the captain and officers prior to the captains cocktail party and welcome speech. In addition to the 2 'formal' evenings there was also an 'italian' evening which involved dancing around the restaurant! A very happy atmosphere! There is iced water available the whole day (except in the evening in the main restaurants). There is also ice cream, tea, coffee available for most of the day. Breakfast was lovely, a great choice with something for all tastes. Lunch was also varied and good quality. Afternoon tea had plenty of sandwiches, fruit and cakes. I didn't try the midnight buffet. The ports of call were all very nice - we were able to walk ashore everywhere except Santorini which required a tender trip. This was well organised and there were plenty of tenders available to get back on board. We didn't do any of the organised tours, preferring to do our own thing. We were 'at sea' for one day of the cruise (Saturday) as we sailed from Rhodes to Dubrovnik and, although the ship was obviously busier as all passengers and crew were on board, there were only short queues in the buffet restaurant during the day and we managed to find a nice place to sunbathe. People were 'claiming' sun loungers (as happens everywhere!!) but this tended to be more on deck 9/10 where the entertainment was located. I read some negative comments in previous reviews about the 'problem' of having to listen to announcements in 5 languages - we didn't find this an issue at all - on the contrary it was quite nice as it gave the ship a really international feel. The majority of passengers on this cruise were Italian, followed by a lot of Spanish speaking passengers. There were also German, French and Russian. Only a few British and American. The staff on board are very international - Peru, Phillipines, Indonesian, Brazilian, Honduras, India, China etc. I can honestly say that I didn't come across even one member of staff who was not friendly and helpful (which is more than I can say about a lot of British workers!!) The only issue for us was the embarkation procedure in Venice. It was not very organised and took almost 3 hours - had we known, we could have spent a couple of hours in Venice then boarded with one of the later groups. On that note, if you are on this cruise, make sure you don't miss the departure from (or the return to) Venice - its absolutely fantastic. All in all, I cannot fault the Costa Fortuna and enjoyed every minute of the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time. We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper ... Read More
We were two couples (3 guys and a gal) on this cruise. This was cruise number 9 for me and my second with Costa. We started our adventure in Rome for 2 nights and had a fantastic time. We travelled to Venice on an overnight sleeper train and except for being delayed about 30 minutes and its kinda weird sleeping on the train it was a great way to travel. 9 May - Venice - Embarkation Day - We arrived in Venice at 5:30 am after a short sleep on the train. We find a pretty deserted train station with nothing open, not even the toilets. But just 30 minutes later everything opened and we dropped our bags at left luggage and explored the city as it was our first time in Venice. We explored the city for about 6 hours and really enjoyed it. We even experienced St. Marks's Square with no one in sight. We got a little lost in the city and somehow ended up by the port and saw the Fortuna for the first time. What a sight. We headed back to the station to retrieve our bags and drag them to the terminal as we did not have pre printed bag tags from Costa we could not drop them at the station. Venice has installed a People mover system from Piazzale Roma to the port which for a euro is great value and only takes a minute. Costa also provides a free shuttle from the bus stop in the same location. We arrived at the port and started walking to the check-in area where we were directed to the bag drop in a different building. As we arrived at about 12:30 this place was crazy and after getting tags and dropping our bags we were given number 14 and sent to the waiting area. Here we waited for about 45min to an hour and after a few passport and Security Checks we make it aboard and it feels great! After boarding we went straight to our room where our luggage was already waiting for us as well as our Costa card. We purchased the J2 package which is an all inclusive package. J2 includes all of your drinks up to €7 on the bar menu including cocktails, Wine and Beer. For us this was a great value. We had early seating and enjoyed a great meal. Our servers Marlon Bando (Not lying) and Billy "the kid" were amazing, after the first night we had a standing order of drinks waiting on the table and great service throughout. Costa now have a bunch of self serve credit card stations set up around ship so you can register your card for your onboard account. This is so much easier. They also have screens around the ship that let you book excursions, see how much you have spent and check your Costa Club info amongst other things. 10 May - Bari - We did Bari on our own and had a nice stroll around the city. Costa offer a shuttle bus (at €6 per person) but it's only about a 5 min walk to the city centre. Bari has a castle which looks pretty impressive on the outside but has nothing on the inside. I suggest you do not pay the €2 euro entry. After returning to the ship we had the life boat drill which is a real treat! 11 May - Katakolon - We have been to Katakolon before and really not much here so a trip to Olympus is in order. We ended up needing to tender due to the wind an Ibero ship was in port already so it must have just kicked up. We took a tender and joined the English tour to Olympus. After my previous ships tour on the Norwegian Jade I was a bit leery as it was horrible. I must say this was pretty good and we all really enjoyed it. As we were delayed arriving due to the weather and needing to tender we all arrived back at 5:30 which was all aboard. After waiting in a massive line for about 30 minutes we made it aboard the tender and onboard. 12 May - Santorni - We decided to go this one on our own and were really looking forward to it. However again due to the wind there was a real problem with the tenders. It took almost 3 hours for the tours to get off as it was unsafe. Once that happened we changed locations and for the next 3 hours they tried to get everyone else off stopping frequently. I was watching on deck and decided it was not worth the trouble to get off. It looked quite unsafe (I have video if anyone wants it) so we stayed aboard (Our tender number was called at 14:30 and with a back on board time of 17:30 it was not worth it and the seas were really choppy) and enjoyed a great day trying as many of the cocktails from the menu that we could. 13 May - Rhodes - This was also my second visit to Rhodes and I loved it. The old city is walking distance and well worth a visit we enjoyed a few drinks (Beer in a boot what more do you need) and walked around. There is some great shopping to be had and you can even haggle a little bit. There is Free Wi-Fi within the city and from the ship if you are lucky and the castle is well worth a visit if you have the time. You will notice cats everywhere. They are pretty friendly but I still would not get too close. There is also a decent duty free shop at the port. 14 May - Day at Sea - Quite a normal day at sea. A Kitchen tour was offered and it was pretty cool. It was lead by the English host who imho was not very good. She was very abrupt and kind of rude. She would not be my first choice for a host. We also visited the Casino and all played roulette and came out ahead. 15 May - Dubrovnik - This was a great port. Again due to the wind we had to dock a bit out if the city instead of tender. Costa provides a shuttle at €6 per person and whilst helpful I think it should have been free. A Visit to the wall is a must as is getting some KUNE as that is the only way you will see the wall. Whilst on the wall there are a few cafes that are reasonably priced and give you nice break from your stroll around the wall. Allow about 90 minutes for the walk and wear comfortable shoes. 16 May - Venice - Debarkation day We purchased the Costa Transfer to the airport for €20 per person. This also includes free left luggage at the terminal so you don't have to carry with you. We explored the city again and then returned for our transfer to the Airport. The Fortuna is a great ship that I think is just the right size. The biggest issue I saw is just how it is laid out there are several areas where there is just a bottle neck during busy times and as on 2 indoor public decks span the length of the ship you can get a bit turned around at first. I also wish that you could walk all the way around deck 3. If you enjoy your drink get the J2 and save a ton. The food was great in the MDR and the buffet was not too bad. Breakfast was a bit of a disappointment as I never got a fully coked omelette. Overall this was a great cruise. If you can deal with an international feel and being a minority onboard (English was the fifth or sixth language in all announcements) you will enjoy Costa, I can't wait to book my next Costa Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We booked this cruise last minute . Embarkation was a bit hit an miss as our flight had been delayed and as a consequence we got to the port 3 hours later than expected so we didn't get on board until 3.45pm. Once on board we went ... Read More
We booked this cruise last minute . Embarkation was a bit hit an miss as our flight had been delayed and as a consequence we got to the port 3 hours later than expected so we didn't get on board until 3.45pm. Once on board we went straight to our cabin , luggage already in the room and we where very happy with our I5 cabin . It had a huge queen sized double , two bedside cabinets , dressing table , mini bar and lots of wardrobe space . with a small table , chair and stool . The bathroom was fab , really big compared to our bathroom that we had in our aft balcony cabin on royal caribbean and much more modern .we where on deck 9 cabin 9243 . A great floor with the corridor leading us out past the lifts onto the main lido deck with the colombo buffet restaurant a 1 minute walk across the deck . There where not many cabins on our floor and at the other end of our corridor was a door that led out onto a huge balcony at the front of the ship OK it had no sunbeds but we found that it was very much like having our very own ...huge ..private balcony !! We where lucky to see 5 people a day venturing out onto it ! we just threw towels on the deck , got our pillows out of our room and had afternoon tea picnics there every day ! plus we could walk to and from the buffet with drinks etc without hiking up and down lifts .who needs to pay for a balcony then ? I loved the fact that your on board account was set up and ready to immediately use without any hassle . We just had to go to a machine within 48 hours of sailing swipe our debit cards and it was all linked up to our accounts . Dining arrangements where already done and dusted and Costa had put all English speaking people on our table which was a bonus as We cannot speak Italian of which Italians made up about 80% of cruisers , say 10 % Spanish and the rest Brits , Americans and Germans . The Italian people where quite good fun , really getting into the spirit of things , partying round the pool , getting involved with games etc and the clientele aged from 1 to 100 , a great mix of cruisers however I found that at really busy times the buffet could become chaotic because no one gets in a Que and on sailing days it might be better to get room service during the day rather than braving the buffet but we very quickly learnt what times to avoid when going to eat at busy periods.also there didn't seem to be much thought on board from cruisers towards disabled or elderly people it was at times every man for himself . I loved the ship . It was very flamboyantly decorated , small enough to get around easy and just big enough to get lost occasionally ! OK the announcements got a bit tedious in 6 languages but hey its all about safety of which the safety drill was completed 24 hours after sailing at approx 5pm on the harbour side at Bari . Now the food ...i thought it was excellent . The buffet was superb , breakfast extensive , pizza's and pasta amazing and i really could not fault the evening dining ! we where in Rafaello at the 9pm serving and we loved every minute . The service was superb . we purchased 2 wine packages one for 69 euro = 4 bottles of wine and 7 water then during the week there was a special offer of 2 bottles of house wine and two water for 19 euro . my partner drank the big 50cl weiss beer at 5 euro and i often went for the cocktail of the day 2 for 10/11 euro .I loved the 7 course dinner settings , all little portions with amazing choices , no starter , main and dessert stick in the mud British dining experience on this cruise ..my taste buds are still recovering . what i loved about Costa was we would finish our evening meal about 11pm and in the bars the waiters and stewards would be passing thru with fruit kebabs, chocolates , pastries on trays etc and on the two formal nights it was free champagne and once free cocktails . The captain strolled round the ship talking to cruisers he was very handsome and very easy going ! We didn't feel a bump all week the sea was like glass and the weather was fantastic ..All in all we got a bargain the only thing for us we cud remotely complain about was that tea, coffee and juice wasn't available all day , just at set times but there was always iced water available ...but afternoon tea between 4-5pm was wonderful , the cakes and little sandwiches where delicious ..they have a new patisserie chef and the cakes where fab ... All in all if the price was right i would cruise Costa tomorrow ....what a great week Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
When my mother booked a cruise on Costa Serena, I decided to try Costa first (having not sailed with them since the early 80's when they were Linea C) and for a short cruise on a similar vessel I choose Costa Fortuna in November, ... Read More
When my mother booked a cruise on Costa Serena, I decided to try Costa first (having not sailed with them since the early 80's when they were Linea C) and for a short cruise on a similar vessel I choose Costa Fortuna in November, around Italy. I boarded Costa Fortuna in Venice after a wonderful weekend in La Serenissima. Be whatever weather, in whatever month, Venice is this unusual city full of magic and enchantment. There are not many places in this world where one can sail past the city centre and some of its most famous sights. And what a wonder that is. The city without cars or buses (apart from a small area around the port) is very easy to walk about and to get to know. Even to get lost is wonderful in Venice. Getting to the port could not be easier, with not only shuttle buses but also the modern people mover. 1. Embarkation Although it was my first time in Venice, I easily found my way to the passenger terminal. Embarkation was made it even easier by leaving my luggage at the train station (Santa Lucia) where a dedicated service (and with the ship's name clearly visible), on the platform side, collects the luggage and delivers it on board for 5 Euros per piece. Costa had mentioned it on the ticket and I decided to try and I felt it was worth every penny. The terminal itself occupies part of what used to be a long warehouse. There is another one housed on a new building but much smaller and I felt it was only for transit passengers. The terminal is large and air conditioned and there are escalators and lifts between the floors. The duty free shop looks just like an old fashioned newsagent but was quite popular with pax. As I had deposited my luggage at the station I was automatically given the number 3 for embarkation. Arrived at the terminal around 13:00 and my number was immediately called. After security and X-ray (online check-in highly recommended) it was a short walk on an external passage towards the ship, in which we boarded directly on Deck 3 2. Cabin I had a single inside cabin on deck nine. Costa gave me a handicapped person's cabin although not needed on my case. It was clear from the beginning that, if a person specifically needed that cabin I would be moved but the ship was not full and I got all that extra space (biggest bathroom I ever had on a ship). It was nicely located near the lifts and the swimming pool and fairly quiet. Only problem was that it was near an automatic door which could be heard on the cabin each time it moved but got used to that. There was ample storage space. Suitcases fit comfortably under the bed or on the corner of the cabin (a good deal of empty space, which is understandable when one needs to maneuver a wheelchair). The safe opens and locks with any magnetic strip card. The bathroom had a shower with shower gel and soap provided. Towels were changed throughout the day if required and the cabin stewardess made a variety of towel animals during our stay. She was a lovely, hard-working Brazilian, who was always nearby. She was polite, attentive and very good in keeping the cabin very clean. 3. Lounges The ship follows the lay-out of the Costa Magica. Deck 1 and 2 are mainly dedicated to cabins. Deck three has the reception, the excursions office, the lower level entrance to the theatre, the atrium bar, the two main dining rooms and their kitchen. Deck four has the upper levels of both dining rooms, the chapel, the library, the lower level of the disco and the internet point. Deck five, the main deck of activities after hours, had the upper level entrance to the theatre, the shops, the main bar (which took the whole width of the ship), an odd broad corridor without much use, the casino, the upper level of the disco, a piano bar (always playing some nice classical music), a ballroom (hardily used here as it was hardily used on Serena) and another lounge with nice stern views. The decoration theme was the Italian transatlantic ships of the past and some rooms made an effort to link to their namesake somehow. But most crew (and some passengers) had no idea of what the names of the public spaces meant. Most rooms were decorated in tones of blue, yellow, red and cream which gave it a vibrant kind of feeling without being over the top. One can say it was a jolly decoration. 4.Food and Drink • Breakfast - room service is only free for breakfast and includes cappuccino / espresso coffee which has a charge in the restaurant. There is a menu or buffet in the Michelangelo restaurant on deck 3 (and at the lower entrance there is a huge, original model of the Michelangelo of the Italian Line, worth looking at) plus the extended buffet on deck 9. In the Michelangelo restaurant there are huge windows at the back which provide a superb view of the ship's wake. • Lunch - There are two lunch options from waiter service in the restaurant (Michelangelo deck 3), to an extensive buffet in the Cristoforo Colombo buffet (where there is also a nice model of the famous sister to the Andrea Doria). I tended to eat in the restaurant at lunch, as the buffet looked like it was quite busy (been November pax tend to remain mostly inside rather than at the pool) and was really impressed how they changed the hours to ensure passengers could still eat on board when port stops hit the lunch hour. Menu offered four options for starters, two for soups, four for pasta, four for main course and four for dessert. There was also salads, etc • Afternoon tea - served 4-5 in the Cristoforo Colombo buffet, little sandwiches and cakes. The cakes looked nice and colorful but all tasted more or less the same and none were impressive. Herbal teas, regular tea, coffee and iced water are always available but at tea time they also offered specialty teas (mainly from China) which was served at a service point by a chef who seemed to know his tea well. • Evening meal - I had a table at first sitting (18:30) in the Rafaello restaurant situated in the middle of the ship which was odd as we the closest to my cabin. There was always a basket of freshly baked bread rolls and bread sticks on the table when we arrived. The menus were in the language requested (choices between German, English, French and Italian) with the Italian name above it if you wanted to order in Italian instead. The evening menu consisted of 6 courses, starter, soup, pasta / risotto, main course, cheese and dessert. There was a reasonable choice and the food was consistently good. I opted for the mineral water package and that was good enough for the whole cruise. Also tried some of the wines and they were good and well priced.Waiters were helpful and professional throughout and nothing was too much trouble. Alternatively the pizzeria (at the Cristoforo Colombo buffet) offers waiter service from 9pm - 1am, with buffet pizza available early evening, but the pizzas were nothing remarkable. • Midnight buffet - There were several midnight buffets during the cruise but I was usually tucked in bed by then. I did make it to one with the vegetable and fruit carvings and the ice sculptures were phenomenal. Throughout the day there was a point in each swimming pool serving hamburgers, french fries, etc + Extra-tariff restaurant - Costa has on some ships (specially the new ones) a restaurant which charges around 20 Euros for a special menu. The one on Costa Fortuna is called Club Conte Grande and although above the buffet, on deck 11, it had a classy atmosphere and it was fairly quiet. Very generous portions and some exquisite dishes made the extra paid worthy. Service was excellent as well. It was a pity that it was quite empty as it was one of the best restaurants I found ever on board a ship 5. Daily programme The grand bar on deck 5 was a main area for activities such as tournaments, games, dance classes, stretching classes and dancing, etc. The Pan Disco on deck 5 was the main location for the children Art and Craft sessions which were offered am and pm. There were Italian classes and some other choices a bit more culturally challenging. There were also seminars in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian about the ports and the ship, but mainly to try to sell the excursions. On warmer weather most activities tend to concentrate around the pool but it was nice to have so much 'live' on the lounges during the day. The cruise director was a Brazilian that could speak seven languages but gave the impression he was new to the job, but still professional and attentive. 6. Pools There were two main outdoor pools on deck 9 each with 2 Jacuzzis (for 16 years and above). The pools closer to the stern had a retractable roof. There is also an outside pool and a swirly slide on deck 11. The Spa has an adult only jacuzzi. The Spa itself was not too big and mainly dedicated to massage treatments, etc. The saunas were really nice, with beautiful sea view and separated for men and women. All very clean and well kept.The saunas were free of charge 7. Evening entertainment The Rex Theatre is on decks 3, 4 and 5 at the front of the ship. The invited entertainment was good but I found them inferior to the ones on MSC. In addition, every bar and lounge had musicians and singers entertaining everyone, including easy listening in the piano bar, ballroom music in the Conte di Savoia Bar and disco music in the Vulcania Disco. With about six venues for musical entertainment in the evening there was certainly something for everyone. However the piano player at the Club Conte Grande restaurant was not good. 8. Excursions I only did one Costa excursion (in Corfu) and did the rest of the ports independently. The guide was enthusiastic and spoke from the moment we boarded the coach giving us information about Corfu and the local area before we got to the Achilleon Palace (the reason why I went on an excursion as it is far away from the old city centre). Unfortunately the weather was not very helpful and rained the whole time we were at the Palace so it was difficult to visit the gardens, but it was worthy. 9 Ports Bari : ships berth very close to the city centre and there was time enough to visit the old castle, the cathedral and the basilica of Saint Nicholas (yeap, of Christmas legend) which is also much visited by Orthodox pilgrims (the relics of the saint where stolen from what was then the Byzantine Empire and brought to Bari many centuries ago). All within walking distance. Worth observing the berthing maneuver at Bari as the ships nowadays are quite large and the port is quite small. Nice, modern terminal. Corfu : Ships berths a bit away from the old city centre. Other pax said that it was walking distance but I had already chosen the excursion. Lovely to see it sail as it passes in front of the city and then goes around the south of the island giving an idea of its geography La Valleta : Ship berths really close to the centre o La Valleta, the capital of Malta. Within a short distance there is the Cathedral (where one can admire an excellent Caravaggio) and the Master of the Knights Palace (now used by the government but containing a large museum) as the island belonged for a long time to the order of St John. Again an interesting port to observe the berthing maneuvers. Naples : Despite the garbage collectors strike and all that one hears about the Camorra, etc, Naples was a nice surprise. The ship berths at the old terminal (much modernized nowadays but externally still looking as it did on the 1940's) and few meters away from the old castle as well as the Royal Palace. Naples is huge so the short stop there was not sufficient to visit its museums properly but I was quite content with the Royal Palace and the castle. It is a lovely bay with Vesuvius constantly on the background. Worth getting up early to see the ship pass by Capri, that magical island, on the way to Naples. 11. Disembarkation I was told to be at the Grand Bar at 09:15 and exactly at that time we were called to disembark. Savona has a terminal built by Costa and it is a modern wonder, full of natural light and very efficient. From the terminal got a taxi to the station (there is a free shuttle but runs only every half hour) where I caught a train for Genoa ( about 30 minutes away) and later a bus for the airport. 12. Final impressions The Costa Fortuna is a nice, happy ship. We had some winds and a bit of rough seas a couple of days and you would hardly know as it felt so smooth. It is decorated with a old passenger ships theme and the models of all past ships from Costa, till the Fortuna, hanging upside down on deck 5 and used as part of the illumination. Glass lifts allow to appreciate the large mural, covering four decks which pays homage to those ships. It was very easy to find your bearings on the ship. I found the cabin corridors very wide and spacious. The staff were all polite and friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be working for Costa. It is also a very green ship and recycles most of its waste on board. Would I go on Costa Fortuna again? Yes, without hesitation. The ship had a good atmosphere, was always on time, the meals were sometimes like gigantic parties, with waiters singing and dancing, and all in good taste. Costa Fortuna was good fortune in November Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2010
Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal. Then we started reading the reviews ... Read More
Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal. Then we started reading the reviews which made us wonder if we had booked the wrong holiday - however, we both take holidays as they come and make the best of anything so we went with an open mind. Embarking in Venice we were on board in no time and soon located our cabin, which was immaculate, spacious and well laid out, it was bigger than we expected and didn't feel cramped at all (have stayed in smaller hotel rooms!). There was plenty of wardrobe and cupboard space, with a bathroom more than adequate. If we needed anything, our cabin steward Emerico would sort it for us, he was always smiling and polite and the room was constantly cleaned with fresh towels twice a day. The ship itself was immaculate. It is lavishly decorated and always clean. Bars and tables always clean and cleared away promptly, the staff worked incredibly hard to maintain the standard. We couldn't fault this ship and its staff at all, and Melissa, who was the English speaking host was always very helpful. The food on board was readily available and the selection was amazing. There was something for everyone and we couldn't fault it at all. One late night we popped up to get a snack and there was fresh pizza, pasta, cakes and fruit, more than enough for anyone! The chefs and waiters all worked hard and were always cheerful and smiling, it seems that nothing is too much trouble for these hard workers. Announcements were made in lots of different languages, bearing in mind it was an Italian ship and the majority of travellers were Italian, Spanish, French, German with a handful of English & American. We were told that anything relevant to us would be in English - simple! As a first cruise, we couldn't fault this at all - our theory is if you go with an open mind then you wont be disappointed, and we were certainly not disappointed. We have now decided that cruising is something we will definitely be doing again! We booked quite a few excursions and had heard it was chaos trying to get off ship - NOT the case at all. It was well organised and easy. We stopped at Bari & Katakolon and did our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Well, just got back from our very first cruise, and I hope my review helps any first timers, any questions I will gladly try to answer. I was sceptical to be honest the reviews were not great for the fortuna, and I had read lots about the ... Read More
Well, just got back from our very first cruise, and I hope my review helps any first timers, any questions I will gladly try to answer. I was sceptical to be honest the reviews were not great for the fortuna, and I had read lots about the food not being good, and pushing and shoving when it came to getting on and off the ship. So here goes: We were at the very front 7202, cabin was fine, bit noisy as there was a generator coming on and off during the night, but no big deal. . Food was brilliant, (we are not fussy eaters though) not sure why the Americans thought it was not up to their standard, you would have to be pretty fussy not to find something you liked!! . The X1 package is great, saved us loads of money and I tipped our waiter on the first night and he brought us a bottle of wine each, every night. Venice, Dubrovnik, Rhodes, Mykonos - all fantastic. Bari great for shopping, Katakolon - not keen, we thought the beach was more like a dirt track and cars and motor bikes sped along the beach behind you while you were sitting there. didn't make Santorini as was ill, but friends told us the cable car situation was terrible and not worth all the hassle, but I believe when you do get to the top it is stunning. . Organisation we thought was fantastic, how Costa manage to feed 3,500 people all day and night is beyond me and keep them entertained and get them on and off the boat, brilliant. . Staff mostly Filipino were fantastic, worked very hard and tried to please you. . Tipping - Well its 14 euros per day (couple) up to you if you want to tip extra, we did, we tipped both our waiters on the first and last night, but no one else on our table did. .Entertainment was about average, some nights excellent, some not so good, they did there best to suit all the nationalities .We did not pay for any excursions, we did it all ourselves, and were very pleased at how easy it was, we dont feel we missed out on anything. .The ship itself is fantastic the art work and design is great - truly awesome. .The negatives - The adult only pool was always full of children with no Costa staff attempting to remove them. However, this did not really bother us, but it did bother a lot of people. .Sun beds are very close to each other, a bit too close for comfort if you know what I mean!! . Avoid the obvious meal times - either go early or late, there is still plenty available and you will then not clash with the hoards of people all trying at the same time to eat!! .Remember it is an Italian cruise ship so 80% of the clientele are Italian, mostly families,(if thats an issue don't book it!)they are not bothered about queueing, and sorry to say, showed no manners and lack of respect to some of the more elderly customers that we had chatted to. . Great first cruise, really enjoyed our holiday, but I did miss my chilled beach holiday, so prob a couple of years until book another cruise. . Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
Where to start! We had read many reviews on the Cruise Critic website and frankly, were wondering if we had chosen the right holiday for our family of 2 adults and 3 children aged 13, 13 and 11. Many comments had us worried, but we can ... Read More
Where to start! We had read many reviews on the Cruise Critic website and frankly, were wondering if we had chosen the right holiday for our family of 2 adults and 3 children aged 13, 13 and 11. Many comments had us worried, but we can assure you that from the time we arrived at the port of Venice to board the Costa Fortuna to the time we disembarked 8 days later, we could not believe how much fun this cruise was for each of us. The staff, especially the Indian, Philippine and Brazilian staff had constant smiles on their faces and were always willing to assist us, no matter what time of day it was, how busy they were, or whatever else was going on, they always managed to make us feel as if we were the only guests onboard. The food was outstanding, the entertainment fantastic, the excursions wonderful. There wasn't enough time in the day to sample all of the food on offer or enough room in our stomachs. At the breakfast buffet, there was a whole table just for tarts and cakes, and a sign advising that they were sugar-free - we sampled everything on that table! The hickory-smoked bacon was the best I've ever tasted. The huge variety of cheeses still make my mouth water. We did excursions in Bari to see Alberobello, Katakolon to see Olympia, Mykonos, Santorini to see Oia and ride the donkeys down the cliff-face - excellent fun - once in a lifetime opportunity, and lastly in Rhodes. The only port we didn't do an excursion in was Dubrovnik, but we did walk around the town on our own and it is truly breathtaking. The only excursion we didn't much enjoy was in Mykonos, and we believe that next year, it's not on the agenda, we know why. Santorini is so beautiful, but unfortunately, we only had 1 hour there in Oia, but we'd love to return there one day. We had been taught some basic Greek phrases on the ship during a free language lesson. Melissa was our english speaking hostess on the ship and kept us informed on everything we needed to know and was most helpful throughout the cruise. Our cabin was spacious and always kept neat and tidy by our lovely cabin steward Emerico. Our bathroom had more than adequate space for all of our toiletries. We had the best waiters in the whole restaurant, who couldn't do enough for us - Mark and Romualdo. We were at the first sitting at 7.00pm in the Michaelangelo Restaurant at table 97, and were treated like royalty. On the special Italian night, it was so much fun to see the waiters let their hair down and join in some fun and dancing with the guests. We had read complaints about the announcements being made over the intercom in so many different languages, but, hey, guess what - there were people from all over the world on that ship and just imagine had they not given any messages in the language you speak, how upset you would have been. We found it fascinating, listening to the different languages. We also read how if you're not Italian, then you're not going to enjoy a Costa cruise. Well, if you're going to start with that attitude, you had better stay at home. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Even though this cruise line is known for its Italian flavour, we believe, it is actually now owned by an American company. If you want American food, entertainment, etc. go on an American ship - simple. If you want Australian food, entertainment, etc. go on an Australian ship - even more simple. THE WHOLE IDEA OF TRAVELLING AWAY FROM YOUR OWN HOME IS TO EXPERIENCE OTHER CULTURES, TRADITIONS, AND FOODS, not to have exactly what you eat at home and to follow the same routine you follow at home. We have already booked a cruise for next year on the Costa Mediterranea to leave from Savona, going to Cairo and Israel, among other places - another dream of ours to visit. Can't wait for some more new experiences. Ofcourse, we cannot say that absolutely everything was perfect and that everything went exactly to plan, but we have travelled quite a lot over the years, with three children since they were four months old and so now we know that when things don't always work out the way they should, all you have to do is "accept the things you cannot change, have courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference"! If you're thinking of going on a Costa Cruise, go and enjoy the adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
Being avid cruisers we decided to try a European cruise company, and picked Costa Fortuna purely because of the price (175 pounds per person)departing 7th June from Venice. The embarkation went smoothly, the terminal building was adequate ... Read More
Being avid cruisers we decided to try a European cruise company, and picked Costa Fortuna purely because of the price (175 pounds per person)departing 7th June from Venice. The embarkation went smoothly, the terminal building was adequate with free cold drinks available. We boarded by numbers being called which went very efficiently, and we were in our cabin within 30 minutes and our cases were there waiting for us. First impressions were that it had the 'wow' factor, it was designed to imitate all the older ships of the Costa company, very different from the American cruise ships, but very well done. Although the ship was built in 2003, it had no signs of wear and tear and everywhere we went aboard the ship was spotlessly clean. The cabins were larger than normal, especially the bathrooms and had the usual hairdryer, tv and mini bar. The staff in all departments were all absolutely amazing, very friendly, couldn't do enough for you and were not pushy about selling you drinks like on the American ships. Our main restaurant waiter was especially friendly, he was from India and after we mentioned we liked curries, we went to the restaurant the next night and they had made a fabulous curry just for our table of 4. The food throughout the week couldn't be faulted, it was always hot and delicious with plenty of choices, we tried all the restaurants. The ports we visited were, Bari, Kataklon, Santorini, Mykonos and Dubrovnik. Even when having to tender it went efficiently with very little waiting.We didn't do any shore excursions, as we prefer getting around for ourselves. Our only gripe was that we never got long enough in port as we would have liked to. To sum it up we had a fantastic weeks holiday, even though we were very sceptical after reading some of the ships reviews, I don't know where these people get their opinions from, we couldn't have asked for better, and we have cruised with royal caribbean, crystal, P&O,Holland America. We will definitely be using Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
My husband and I have cruised many times before (on 5 different cruise lines) and wanted to introduce our friends to this type of vacation. It was the first time we had gone with Costa and we chose it based on price. We had read all the ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised many times before (on 5 different cruise lines) and wanted to introduce our friends to this type of vacation. It was the first time we had gone with Costa and we chose it based on price. We had read all the negative comments but went on the cruise with an open mind. The embarkation was probably the easiest we have ever experienced. The cruise card and credit card validation were not done at check in and this speeded up the whole thing. Our luggage arrived at our stateroom soon after we boarded. Last cruise in December, it was almost dinnertime before my husband's case arrived. The food reviews we had read were not good, however, we found the quality and choice of food excellent. The waiters were very friendly and helpful. After the first day we ate all of our meals in the dining room as we did find the layout of the buffet on deck nine a little chaotic. Our friends chose to have breakfast and lunch on deck nine and thought it was fine. Our balcony stateroom was very comfortable and spotless. It was nearly always cleaned while we ate breakfast. Allen our cabin steward was very thorough and always smiling. I must comment on the pillows though, as they were very hard and could be doing with being replaced. We did find it confusing that on some of the public decks you could not walk from one place to another without going up or down. The lack of a wrap around promenade deck was also disappointing as we love to walk 2 miles every day. There is a jogging track but it got very busy and was small enough to give you the feeling that you were going round in small circles! The quality of the entertainment was above average for a cruise ship and many of the shows were spectacular with laser lighting and extravagant costumes. The ports of call were the usual for the western Caribbean and we did not go on any tours. The time in each port did seem a little short and most days we set sail shortly after 2pm. Although I have outline some negative points, all in all, we all thought it was excellent value for money. All the other lines we have sailed with have their positive and negative points as well. Our friend said they really felt they were in Italy some of the time. Would we all repeat the experience? Yes Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
We are a family of 3 and this was our 6th cruise but First with Costa! We had booked with cruise because of the price and kids sail free program. I had read amny, many negative reviews about Costa but we decided to give them a chance. WE ... Read More
We are a family of 3 and this was our 6th cruise but First with Costa! We had booked with cruise because of the price and kids sail free program. I had read amny, many negative reviews about Costa but we decided to give them a chance. WE ARE GLAD WE DID! We had an Awesome time during our cruise. EMBARKATION: Well, we probably mest up by getting to the cruise port so early! We were the 2nd family in the terminal for this cruise. So, we had to wait about 1-2 hours to board. That was our fault though and we were not in a hurry. There were a form everyone had to fill out prior to boarding (it had to do with if you were felling ill). So, no big deal. They also had Boarding Forms (if you had not yet filled them out online.) We had ours already. We did ask the staff if we had to fill new ones out since we had changed rooms...They said no. Just scratch out the old room # and put in the new one next to it. Did this, and no problem!! After they opened the doors, we were on the ship in about 5 minutes!! SHIP: Beautiful decor! Very nice and clean! CABIN: We were originally booked in room 2352 on Deck 2. However, about a week before our cruise I called our T/A and she was able to get a Complimentry Upgrade to a Balcony Room on Deck 10 Room 1060!! This room was Beautiful, Spacious and Clean! We loved our room! Our room steward (Darvin) was Awesome! Always kept the room clean and was very nice. We learned a lot about him and he was very courteous! He was always around if we needed him. STAFF: Very courteous! Always greeted by staff members and very helpful when asked questions. We went to the pursers desk several times and only had to wait once (about 10 min). Otherwise, always quick and helpful. CRUISE DIRECTOR & ENTERTAIMENT: Max, he was ok...not too funny but he tried. At least he was attentive and the shows were pretty good. The Costa Dancers are good. We really enjoyed the Elton John show! There was always dancing on the pool deck and in the 5th foor lounge. Loved watching them dance! The Pianist and violinist were very good as well. Casino: Typical cruise casino...we liked the roulette tables...had luck on these and won something for a change! Plenty of Slot Machines. FOOD: Okay, we read so may bad reviews about the Costa food on cruise critic. HOWEVER, WE LOVED IT! Now, mind you, were are not picky or finicky eaters. We are hispanic and the most we know about Italian Food is Olice Garden!! I really thought my husband would be disappointed with the food but NO! They had a very large variety to choose from every night! We had First Seating at the Michael Angelo Reaturant. They always had beef, chicken, fish, or another kind of meat available. The pasta was great! And, you could get seconds if you wanted. They had shrimp 2-3 times during the week and crab legs once. My husband loved the steaks they served during the week! There was once thing we were disappointed in...that was our waitress and helper. They never made an effort to talk to us or for us to get to know them. I say thei because it looked like they only had 2 tables per session. And even though I know they were busy....they just never spoke? Just always hello, take order, pick up plates and good bye. Oh well, at least we always had good service!! Very fast and great food!! FYI----We were seated with 2 other families so, we had a total of 9 people at out table. WE GOT ALONG WELL WITH THE OTHER FAMILIES.Oh...forgot to mention that we ate Breakfast in the buffet once then went to the Micxhael Angelo Restaurant...AND WERE HOOKED AFTER THAT!! WOW...The food in the restaurant is no comparrison to the buffet! Nice and hot and always fresh!!! Take my advice and eat breakfast in the Restaurant!! Hardly ever ate lunch but...heard the restaurant was better than the buffet! Oh and they always has really good COOKIES and Pasteries in the Colombo Buffet from 3-4:40PM.....And yes....gelato always available!!! Yummyyyyy KIDS CLUB: In my 10 y/o Daughters words AWESOME!! Ok, we have used other kids clubs on the other cruises we have been on however, COSTA EXCEEDS THESE!!! Our daughter really enjoyed this place and did not ever want to leave with us when we would go and pick her up. The Costa Kids Staff is AWESOME. They are always friendly and have so much for the kids to do! There hours are form 9:30 AM to 11:30 PM...NONSTOP!! Now...of course we did not leave her there that long....but those hours are great!! I mean...you don't see that on other cruise lines!! My daughter also made many great friends and was so sad to leave the last day. PORTS: St. Thomas...we did a tour with Godfrey for $25...HAD A GREAT TIME! He is so proud of where he is from and very knowledgeable! Saw so, so much of the Island! San Juan: It was raining on this day and as we got off the ship THEY WERE GIVING EVERYONE PONCHOS!! WHAT AN AWESOME TOUCH COSTA!! There was another cruise ship in port and the people getting off of there had nothing! Anyway, we rented a car (from Carribbean Cars Online) here and drove around the Eastern Part of the country...Very beautiful!! Grand Turks: Beach day for us here! Also hung out at Margaritaville...Cool place! TIP: The beach chairs on the beach ARE FREE!!! They announced this to us on the Costa Ship! Although, we saw a guy on the beack (a local) who was scamming people for money to sit in the chairs!!! BE AWARE!!! Chairs and pool at Margaritaville are free too!! DISEMBARKATION: You have the option to sign up for early disembarkation in you want (only the 1st 500 people). We chose this option because we had to get an early start driving home to Texas! YOU HAVE TO CARRY OFF YOUR OWN LUGGAGE...Which was ok...We had breakfast in the restaurant and were off the ship by 7:50 AM!!! It was a breeze. Overall, my family and I had a FANTASTIC time and would DEFINTELY sail again with Costa if we have the opportunity!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Our family group of 5 sailed the Costa Fortuna the week of March 7. We booked 3 rooms back in October during "The World's Largest Cruise Night" promotion through a travel agent. This was my third cruise and I have booked ... Read More
Our family group of 5 sailed the Costa Fortuna the week of March 7. We booked 3 rooms back in October during "The World's Largest Cruise Night" promotion through a travel agent. This was my third cruise and I have booked three ways- directly through cruiseline, on-line travel agency and brick and mortar agency. This one was through a brick and mortar agency and I would not do this again. We chose Costa for the itinerary and price, as well as a promotion for OBC. They have the best price for singles. Our travel agent had a lot of difficulty dealing with Costa and we did not get our OBC, though we have looked into it and are supposed to be getting a refund for $150 ($50 a room). I also have to say that Costa's website is very difficult to navigate. We did get a small category upgrade, but found out by talking to a lot of different people that many got huge upgrades- inside rooms to balconies for instance and at a lower price than we paid. However, I am not complaining about the cost- Costa delivers a big bang for the buck and we all enjoyed ourselves. We flew down to Fort Lauderdale the day before and rented a minivan for $44 using a code from mousesaversdotcom. One thing to note is that there is a car rental center at the airport, but unless you come in at Terminal D, you will have to wait for and take a shuttle to it. We had rooms at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Cruise Port. This is a new hotel in Dania Beach, about 10 minutes from the airport. They do have a free shuttle from the airport and also one to the cruise port for $10 per person. We chose to rent the minivan so we would have more flexibility and we had found out that there were no restaurants within walking distance to the hotel. Hotel was fine, clean and basic, also had a free breakfast, though the cruise passengers cleaned it out by 8:00 am. We drove to Las Olas Blvd. for dinner which is a fun place to eat and people watch. Plenty of reasonable parking in either lots or garages, though we had brought our GPS which was handy. Embarkation Day: We ate breakfast in the hotel, then loaded up the van around 10:30 and dropped off 3 people and all the luggage at the cruise port, which is very easy to do. There were 5 ships in the port that day, and the hotel shuttles were taking people to all 5, which looked like a long process. Two of us took the van back to the airport and then took a $13 cab ride back to the port. We found out when dropping off the van that there is a rental car drop-off at the port, wish we had known about it. Embarkation was a breeze and if you want to bypass the photo line you can. Your ship photo is taken once you are on the ship, room keys are in your room and your credit card must be activated within 48 hours through a kiosk, but that is very easy to do. Sail-away was at 7:00 pm, so we got to watch the other ships leave. If you order a drink while still in port, you will have to pay a port tax in addition to the cost of the drink and the gratuity. Rooms: We all had inside rooms. They were all the same, typical cruise-ship rooms. One of them (8273) was very loud and next to some machinery that banged alot. We did experience a language problem with the customer service rep. When we asked to have someone come to the room to explain the banging she got very defensive and kept telling us the ship was full and we couldn't change rooms. We tried to tell her we did not want a room change, just a maintenance person to come check it out and make sure there wasn't a problem. She is pretty hateful and her name is Daniela. If you go on this cruise, I would suggest you wait until another rep is available before you try to deal with her. Several people in the line were frustrated with her. I think it would be a good idea for Costa to have service reps who are fluent in English when they are in the Caribbean. This cruise had a lot of senior citizens on board and the language barrier was difficult to a lot of them. Dining: We had the first seating in the Michelangelo Dining Room, table 109. Dinner is at 5:45 which is a little early, but the second seating is at 8:30 which was too late for us. The food was very good- we especially enjoyed the pasta dishes-Lasagna was awesome! Steaks were sometimes good, sometimes overcooked. The crab legs were great. Desserts were fine, but if you order Baba Rhum you need a sense of humor. The dining room entertainment was fantastic and occurs every night after dessert, so make sure you stay for it. One of the people at the next table had a gluten allergy and he was very well-attended to, the chef even made him a special gluten-free birthday cake, which he shared with us and it was very good. Drink service at dinner was spotty. We did not have a wine package and the wine steward rarely came by. We ended up stopping at a bar and bringing a glass of wine or a cocktail to dinner with us. This was a good solution, especially since the drinks were usually 2 for 1 between 4-6, so we could have one pre-dinner drink and then bring the other one with us. The mixed drinks are pretty pricey and very weak, so wine or beer is a better choice. A nice touch was the free champagne at the farewell dinner, and they were generous with it. Our waiter got better as the week went on, he seemed nervous, but it didn't look like he had more than 2-3 tables and one table was almost always empty. We tried both the buffet and restaurant for breakfast and lunch, both were good- different pastas at each buffet line. Lunch in the restaurant was a little slow and a lot of food, especially with the early dinner. Afternoon tea was everyday from 3:30-4:30 and had good desserts and sandwiches. Pizza was also very good and toppings changed daily. Entertainment: Entertainment was hit or miss. If you like the welcome show, you will like all of the rest. We liked the Elton John impersonator and the Tenor. The staff talent show was just okay, but the last night Toga Party and passenger talent show were really fun. There was a ballroom dance group on board and they were fun to watch in different areas of the ship. Lounge music was good also. Daily bingo games drew big crowds, with pots ranging from $50-$1000 and you never knew until someone won how big the pot was. We missed the Newlywed Game, but did catch it on the TV the next day and after that no one got near any hot tub based on one of the couples comments about where they last "did it". The pools were larger than on other cruise ships and not full of kids. There is a water slide, but it was only open a few hours a day. There did not seem to be many kids on this cruise and the ones we saw were well-behaved. The Squok Program got rave reviews from people we met. The spa was nice and we did use the steam room, saunas, gym and showers, as well as spa treatments. Ports: We did not take any ship excursions, but booked private ones based on Cruise Critic reviews. In St. Thomas we took a snorkel excursion with Captain Mike of the Fury and got to swim with sea turtles. In San Juan we spent the day with Albert Aguirre (surfcabs@yahoodotcom (787)317-6907), he is a great tour guide and we highly recommend him. He took us to the rain forest, a tour of old San Juan and a local roadside lunch stop. If you plan to buy duty-free alcohol, San Juan has excellent prices. Anything we bought did not get confiscated when we got back on board. Grand Turk was a beach day for us, no sightseeing. There were two ships in Grand Turk that day and they were on different time zones, so that was confusing. Also, when we arrived at Grand Turk we took our time getting off the ship which was a mistake because The Emerald Princess came in about 20 minutes behind us and they closed the port until they cleared customs, so we were forced to stay on our ship an extra 30-40 minutes. Plenty of chairs in the shade at Grand Turk. We really enjoyed our Costa Cruise even more than we expected to. We were a little worried after the lukewarm and negative reviews, but it was a great vacation. We loved the European flavor and the overall experience was well-worth it. The ship was beautiful, clean and comfortable and we would sail Costa again. In addition, we went to a Meet and Greet from this board and that was one of the highlights of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
This was our first cruise (wife, daughter and I). We were a little apprehensive because of some of the negative reviews but found the ship, crew etc. to be wonderful. The ship is beautiful, always clean and well appointed. We arrived ... Read More
This was our first cruise (wife, daughter and I). We were a little apprehensive because of some of the negative reviews but found the ship, crew etc. to be wonderful. The ship is beautiful, always clean and well appointed. We arrived four hours before sailing and were through the entire boarding and check in process without stopping for more than two minutes at a time (well organized). Our room with a balcony was very clean and large enough for the three of us. Our cabin steward Erickson introduced himself immediately. Our room was always cleaned several times a day and Erickson made sure our daughter always had a towel animal waiting for her, which she loved. The food was excellent in both the buffets and at the sit down dinners. If you cannot find great food and plenty of it then you are not looking very hard. The food is a mix of European specialities and American food, all was again excellent. The staff were all very nice, spoke very good English and always greeted everyone with a smile. It impressed us that the staff works such long hours and constantly, yet we never heard any complaints and they never looked like they were not enjoying themselves. Our four year old daughter enjoyed herself a lot. She was apprehensive at a "kids meet the captain" event at the Squok Club. The captain on his way out of the club saw her, came and sat down with us and had a ten minute conversation with her. He did not have to do this but it as great example of how the staff go out of their way to make sure the cruise is fun and a great experience. The other passengers were mostly European and Canadian which was actually nice. We did not encounter any loud, obnoxious Americans (we are American). Everyone we talked to were friendly and if there was a lack of English knowledge they still attempted a friendly exchange. This cruise is a great opportunity to encounter other nationalities and enjoy listening to their languages (especially Italian) and learning about their countries. It is almost like having a Mediterranean cruise with Caribbean ports of call. If you enjoy meeting interesting people, eating food from around the world and relaxing with great service, this is a good cruise to take. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
This was our 5th cruise with Costa, and once again, we enjoyed every moment of it. It was another wonderful experience, where the memories will last forever. For us, Costa did it again: An overall outstanding cruise experience in every ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Costa, and once again, we enjoyed every moment of it. It was another wonderful experience, where the memories will last forever. For us, Costa did it again: An overall outstanding cruise experience in every aspect. Here's the detailed story of our cruise aboard of the Costa Fortuna, January 10 through January 17, 2010. DAY 1 - FORT LAUDERDALE & EMBARKATION: We live only about 2 hours away from Fort Lauderdale and arrived at Port Everglades around 11:20 am on an extremely cold (at least for us Floridians) morning. The Costa Fortuna was anchored at Pier 19, where I dropped off our luggage and proceeded to park the car in the parking garage right next to the pier. We proceeded into the terminal at about 11:30 am and had no lines at the security screening. Once security screening is completed, you are asked to complete a "Health Questionaire" mainly geared towards the question if you have any symptoms of H1N1. It's only a short form, and has to be completed before you check in (it's NOT part of your online/web check-in form!), so to make it easier for you, make sure to bring a pen. Once completed, you have two options: You can either use one of the self check-in kiosks (similar to airline check-ins), or proceed into the next hall, where you have Costa staff members checking you in at the counter. There was some confusion amongst some travelers, who thought they HAD to check in at the kiosk. We skipped the kiosks and proceeded to the check-in counter. Suite customers, as well as Costa club members of Coral status or above will have a separate check-in line, which we took advantage of. My parents did not have a suite, and they proceeded towards the "regular" check-in line. We experienced no wait and were promptly greeted by a Costa staff member, who checked our passports and reviewed the web check-in form I had printed at home. In less than two minutes we were ready and proceeded towards the ship. Due to the large amount of Costa check-in staff, my parents were done with their check-in in similar time. A small line formed, as a picture is being taken before you go onboard, followed by another security/I/D/ check point. We boarded the Fortuna, and before you enter the main lobby, your mug shot/head shot will be taken (used for identification when exiting/entering the ship at ports). We were all set and ready to enjoy the welcoming buffet at around 12:00 noon, even though the cruise documents state, that the check-in time starts at 1:30 pm. We enjoyed the buffet, which offered a variety of cold and hot specialties, salads and desserts. The buffet was quite busy. Apparently a lot of people checked in early, plus there were a lot of back-to-back cruisers still onboard. The poolside grill in the aft of Deck 9 opened around 12:45 pm, offering hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and other "domestic" food. The state rooms were ready at approximately 1:15 pm. Our Grand Suite #7289 was almost as home to us, as we had the exact same cabin on the Magica and the Fortuna once before. Room stewardess Merlina and our butler Jacob stopped by shortly after our arrival to introduce themselves to us and to inquire if we needed anything. If you are new to the ship or new to Costa, they will gladly give you a brief introduction about the cabin and the services offered. Our luggage arrived in our cabin at about 3:40 pm, which was great, as it gave us plenty of time to unpack before any scheduled activities and before leaving port. I noticed that somebody had locked the safe in the cabin and it was not possible to open it with our card. Jacob contacted somebody from the customer service and with 10 minutes the problem was solved. Upon check-in you are asked to register a credit card, in order to charge your expensed to your onboard account. This is now being done with kiosks, which you can find throughout the ship on Decks 3 and 5. Remember, you need your Costa Card (which you will find in your room) and your Credit Card in order to complete this process. There was a line at the kiosk on Deck 3, so I went to Deck 5. There are several kiosks just passed the Casino, which never seemed to have any lines. At the kiosk you simply select your language, swipe your Costa Card first, followed by swiping you Credit Card (within 60 seconds). If you are travelling with somebody else in your cabin, you have either the option to include or exclude that person from your onboard account. At the end of the process (less than 2 minutes) you will get a confirmation message on the screen and you are ready to go. We relaxed in our cabin, unpacked our suitcases and strolled around the Fortuna for the remainder of the afternoon. As we had second sitting dining, our first show "Welcome Aboard Variety Show" was scheduled for 7:00 pm, the time we were actually supposed to leave Port Everglades. Except for the Welcome Gala Night (Night 2), second sitting passengers will always enjoy a pre-dinner show, whereas first sitting passengers will enjoy their entertainment after the dinner. Due to a cocktail reception in the theatre on the first formal night, both sittings will have their show after dinner (9:00 pm for first sitting and 10:45 pm for second sitting passengers). The show was a great kick-off for our vacation and featured an acrobatic duo, Gaby & Norbi from Europe (Czech Republic if I'm not mistaken), as well as two really talented singers Umberto Noto from Italy and Liz Roxburgh from England, and of course the always fabulous Costa Fortuna dancers. Due to extreme weather conditions around the country and also internationally, our departure time was pushed back from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, as we were still missing quite a few passengers. After the show we were ready for our first dinner. We were assigned to table # 68 on deck 3 in the Michelangelo Restaurant (aft restaurant). The table was located along the side, and was a table for 4, with a bench and two chairs. Our waiter Edgar and assistant waiter Steve were great, but seemed a bit shy at the beginning. Dinner was wonderful (see separate post about Fortuna Menu's) and we were just getting up, as the ship started to pull away from the pier at about 10:20 pm. We were told that even with the delayed departure time, we would still be in St. Thomas on time. DAY 2 - AT SEA: We woke up to a sunny morning and had put in an order for breakfast in the cabin the night before. On the breakfast order forms which you will find in your cabin, you can determine a time frame, e.g. 8:00-8:30, 8:30-9:00, etc. We ordered our breakfast for 9:00-9:30, and promptly at 9:00 am, our butler Jacob knocked on the door with a huge tray of breakfast items. We had ordered some breakfast rolls, croissants, coffee, hot chocolate, espresso, butter, strawberry and apricot jam and enjoyed every bit of it in our wonderful cabin. We went to the sundeck on deck 12 (forward), where it was nice and quite, although it was a bit breezy and a bit cool from time to time, when the sun was hiding behind some clouds. At around noon, I had to check out the lunch buffet on deck 9. The assistant chef had a station with some fresh mussels in marinara sauce. The sauce had a nice little kick to it, and the mussels were simply outstanding. I lost count, but I think I had three plates or so. Of course I had to try some of the other items from the buffet too, such as the fresh mozzarella with tomatoes (Insalata Caprese) and some fresh Tuna-Tomato salad, some pasta, etc. I walked out with a nice sample platter of pretty much everything. It was fantastic! At 3:15 pm it was time for our muster/lifeboat drill. We went to the cabin around 3:00 pm and were ready. Make sure that you bring your Costa card with you, when you proceed to your muster station. The staff will scan your card, to make sure you're accounted for, as the life boat drill is mandatory. There were quite a few people who did not bring their cards, so the staff members had to manually put them in their scanner. Not a big problem, but it hold up the process. So bring your card! Yes, the lifeboat drill will be conducted in five languages (English, Italian, German, French and Spanish), which for whatever reason apparently upsets some passengers. We personally enjoy such things, as it makes your cruise vacation even more "international". After the lifeboat drill we enjoyed the remainder of the afternoon on the sundeck and our balcony. Max, the Cruise Director, mentioned that the ship had about 3000 passengers onboard... it really didn't feel like it. The evening offered the first formal night, the Welcome Gala Night. Costa has improved and streamlined the process of going to the cocktail reception in the Rex Theatre tremendously. If you like, you can have your picture taken with the Captain on deck 5, which is voluntarily. In the past, they took the pictures right by the entrance of the theatre, which caused a tremendous back-up of people in the lobby area. During the reception, you still receive champagne and non-alcoholic cocktails, as well as appetizers, although Costa has scaled back a bit on that. Of course, dinner was superb and excellent once again, with many delicious dinner choices. If you are curious what's for dinner that night, you may want to watch "The Breakfast Show" with Cruise Director Max, which is broadcasted on channel 12 on TV. Max usually visits Veal and Allessandro in the kitchen, and will give you an inside look of what the specialties and chef recommendations are for the day/evening. Buon Appetito! The later evening/night offered a 70's/80's Boogie Night at the Leonardo Lounge and Disco Fever in the disco with DJ Matteo. DAY 3 - AT SEA: We got up around 8:00 am and due to the wonderful food, decided it was time for us to get some exercise in. It was a nice sunny morning and we went running at the jogging track on deck 11 (midship/aft) for over an hour, before hitting the breakfast buffet on deck 9. The breakfast buffet offers a wide variety of items, from fresh breakfast rolls, different kinds of bread, croissants and turnovers, pancakes, muesli, cereal, fresh fruit, sausage links, bacon, eggs, smoked salmon or fresh tuna, yoghurt, boiled eggs and custom made omelets to your liking. After breakfast and a refreshing shower, we decided to give it a shot at "Super Bingo", where the guaranteed prize money was $ 750. If you got a full card with the first 46 numbers, the prize is $ 5000, with 47 numbers it'll be $ 2500, and with the first 48 numbers, it'll pay $ 1500. Not bad at all. The entry fee is either $10 for a single card or $ 20 for a triple card. I came close with two numbers left, but didn't win. At least it was a try. The lunch buffet offered delicious Mediterranean specialties, such as Greek Salad with Feta cheese, Dolmades (stuffed wine leafs - Greek), Tortellini in a creamy cheese sauce and flambEed peaches with vanilla ice cream. By the way, the ice cream machines on deck 9 were always working and always produced good soft ice cream as well. The wind started to pick up again in the afternoon and it started to sprinkle, so we went back to our cabin and took a short nap. The theme for the night was Tropical Night. As we were booked in a Grand Suite, a dinner for two at the Tuscan Steak House (Club Restaurant) is complimentary. We tried to get in for tonight, but it was already fully booked for the evening, so we made our original reservation for Thursday. I asked Jacob (our butler) if you could check once again, to see if anybody canceled. After a short time, he came back to our cabin, and said that it was still fully booked, but he would go upstairs and check with the restaurant manager himself. A few minutes later Jacob returned, and said that the restaurant would be glad to have us tonight at 8:30 pm. Awesome! Thank you Jacob, for making it possible for us! It started to rain before we went to the evening show "Blue Fantasy", which also features a small segment of laser show. I really wish they would have a longer, more exciting laser show, such as on the Magica. The show was fantastic. We also had a cocktail reception with the Captain that night, which is reserved only for suite passengers. There were only about 40-50 people who attended. They served us lots of champagne and plenty of delicious hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. The Captain, Massimo Garbarino, which we sailed with before on the Costa Mediterranea, took time to sit down with each passenger, talked and chatted leisurely. He's an amazing person, with a long career with Costa (he's with Costa since 1978, and back then become the youngest Captain within the organization). He was born in Genoa, Italy, which is also the home of Costa and is known for the history of navigation, seafarers and ship builders. He fluently speaks all five languages and it's a pleasure talking to him. Until that night I did not know that he is actually actively involved in the design and building of new Costa ships. After the cocktail reception it was time for our dinner experience at the Tuscan Steak House. All I can say: If you're not cruising in a suite, spend the extra $ 30 per person and have a dining experience of a lifetime. You'll experience magnificent service and food, which goes beyond your imagination! The piano player and low lighting improves the ambience of the entire experience. Due to the rain, the Tropical Night was moved from the pool deck to the grand lounge Conte Di Savoia, but the ice sculpture demonstration was cancelled. DAY 4 - ST. THOMAS: Even though we departed Fort Lauderdale almost 4 hours late, we arrived in St. Thomas even a little bit early and the Captain was able to secure us docking space # 1 in Heavensight. We got off the ship around 8:30 am, and had made a reservation with Budget for a Jeep rental. Budget was always located on the main street, just outside of the cruise ship area, but has relocated since January 1, 2010. The new office is now located within the port area, just off the cruise ship pier towards docking space # 2. When you get off the ship, exit the fenced area, then immediately walk along the cruise ship towards your right. There is a large "Budget" sign on the building. You will pick-up and drop off your vehicle there, which makes it even more comfortable for cruise ship passengers. We picked up our 4-door Jeep as reserved and we were off to explore the island. Just as a reminder: Although St. Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands, you are driving on the LEFT. All rental vehicles are left-steered vehicles with automatic transmission, but if you've never driven on the left, it takes a bit to get used to, especially when turning! Just make sure you watch out for animals, especially on less travelled roads. Donkeys, chicken, pigs, dogs and other animals are roaming freely. There are a lot of winding roads on St. Thomas, with a lot of blind spots... just reduce your speed accordingly and watch where you're going. Our first stop was Coki Beach, which we knew from previous times. It's a nice little beach, with a lot of local vendors, offering anything from food and drinks to various merchandise. The beach is located right next to Coral World, if you have problems finding it on the map. The beach gets usually crowded later, as a lot of tours drop their passengers, before returning to the ship. We bought some good mixed drinks "The Bomb", which has a nice fruity taste, with lots of rum! Yummy! The beach is ideal for snorkeling, but watch for currents, which can be strong at times. We had some dog bisquits to feed the fish. A nice colorful selection of fish will surround you quickly, as soon as you start crumbling the bisquits. The beach got crowded by noon and we decided to move on with our island tour. Toured the remainder of the island, with nice stops along the way to take great pictures of this beautiful island. We stopped at one more local beach, which is the most relaxing and quiet beach you can imagine. We dropped our Jeep off around 4:45 pm, did a little bit of shopping around the harbor and went back on the Fortuna at around 5:20 pm. We set sail promptly at 6:00 pm as scheduled. The theme for the night was Italian Night, which you don't want to miss. It's a casual night, but you're encouraged to wear red, white and green outfits, which resembles the Italian national colors (tricolore). At 7:00 pm Antonio Colamorea performed a tribute to Andrea Bocelli. He is an amazing tenor, and probably drew the largest crowd in the theatre I had seen all cruise long. His voice is amazing... so if he's still on the ship performing, you don't want to miss this show. During the evening, the cruise staff will put on all kind of "Italian" entertainment, from Tarantella and Taccopunta Dance lessons to the "Election of Mister Pizza", which is absolutely hilarious - all these "shows" are audience participation, especially Mister Pizza. Don't miss it! Dinner that night was - of course - even more Italian than usual. It was fantastic as always, but I had to order multiple main courses, just because I could not decide what I wanted to try... so I tried them both! After dinner we attended the "Newlywed and Not so Newlywed Game", which was hosted by Max and took place in the Rex Theatre at 11:15 pm. I was surprised by the very low turnout. Usually that show draws quite a crowd, but not this time. It was still fun and entertaining. If you rather go dancing, at 11:30 pm the Excalibur Band perfomed the Most Beautiful Italian Songs in the Leonardo Da Vinci Lounge, followed by the Glamour Nigth of the 80's and 90's in the disco. DAY 5 - SAN JUAN: As soon as we woke up, I noticed it was dark and rainy outside. We had made a reservation with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to rent a Jeep, as we had planned to visit the rain forest and the Bacardi Rum Factory. We got off the ship at around 8:45 am and contacted Enterprise, who kindly offered to pick us up from the pier. Their office is about 10 minutes away from the cruise ship terminal. Within 10 minutes we got picked up and by 9:30 am we were on our own, and off to Bacardi, as we decided to do the rain forest later in the day, if it would stop raining. Everybody from Enterprise was extremely friendly and helpful. So if you're renting a car in San Juan, I can highly recommend the Enterprise office, which is located at 999 Ashford Ave. Just make your reservation online, and give them a call if you need a pick-up. If you decide in San Juan however, expect heavy traffic. This becomes even more of an issue when it rains, as the drainage is insufficient, and roadways are getting easily flooded, which brings traffic to a snarl. If you are used to road sign and direction signs from the US, Canada or Europe, don't expect it in San Juan. It took us forever to eventually select the correct turn to find the Bacardi Rum Factory... hardly any signs to get you there. The factory tour is in my opinion very interesting and informative. Even though you don't see the actual manufacturing process or bottling process, it provides you with a lot of history about Bacardi. And as an added bonus: the tour is absolutely free and includes two free drinks at the end of the tour... yummy! Due to the extreme heavy rain, we decided to bring the car back early, and returned to San Juan at about 2:00 pm. Enterprise arranged for us to be dropped off at the pier, and we had enough time to take a stroll to Old San Juan, which we had seen several times before. We bought some local cigars and stopped by "The Bonbonera", a locally owned baker/eatery in the heart of Old San Juan for some pastries and coffee, before heading back onboard at about 3:15 pm. The Fortuna departed as scheduled at 4:00 pm. This evening's theme was Circus night and was an informal night in the dining room. Michael B. Levin performed "Sinatra, Bennett and Me". He has a great voice and does a great Sinatra and Bennett, but was in my honest opinion the weakest performer in the entire lineup of entertainment throughout the week. Also, the Election of Miss Costa Fortuna took place at 10:30 pm, followed by "Blue's & Rock'n'Roll Session" with Max and the Excalibur Band. Don't miss out on the Galley Tour and Buffet. The chefs of the Costa Fortuna put an amazing array of ice carvings, food carvings and of course a huge selection of appetizers, desserts and other fine specialties together. Keep in mind, that there is no more "Buffet Magnifico" (Grand Buffet) on the second formal gala night. This kitchen and galley tour and buffet is the replacement! It's fantastic to take a peak behind the scene of the usually busy kitchen. Amazing and a must see! The galley opened at 11:45 pm. You will enter the galley through the center restaurant (Restaurant Rafaello) on deck 3, tour the kitchen, and exit in the aft restaurant on deck 3, where you can sit down and enjoy your culinary treasures. DAY 6 - GRAND TURK: We got up around 9:00 am and went to the breakfast buffet on deck 9. We relaxed afterwards on our balcony until we arrived in Grand Turk. We actually arrived and docked early at about 11:20 am. The Fortuna was the first ship to arrive, followed by the Emerald Princess, the other ship for the day. We got off the ship quickly at around 11:45 am. The cruise terminal Carnival built is very nice and appears still brand new. Just off the ship there are two beaches visible, with plenty of beach chairs. All facilities are free of charge, including the pool and the beach chairs. So take advantage, if you don't want to wander far from the ship. We decided to rent some motor scooters to explore the island, and had done some research prior to our cruise. Tony's Rental is set up just OUTSIDE of the cruise terminal, just passed the gate. Took us a minute to figure that out, but we found him. Rented two scooters, which includes the helmet and gas. All you have to bring is your driver's license and cash, as the renal place is not yet accepting credit cards. There is no security deposit necessary either... kind of interesting, but how far could you run with a scooter on this roughly 28 square mile island. The driving is on the left and the maximum speed limit around the entire island is 20 mph or 32 km/h. Traffic is extremely light, which makes it even more enjoyable to ride around with the scooters. Just watch for wild animals. You see wild horses, donkeys, chicken and other creatures just standing in the middle of the roadways. Not all roads are paved, but even the gravel roads are very passable. You can still see the results from Hurricane Ike, which hit this island, as you still see some ruins around the island. We found some beautiful beaches, which huge conch shells. We weren't sure if you're allowed to take them, so we took pictures of them and left them on the beach. We stopped at a hilltop bar ("The Bare Naked Conch") for some traditional conch fritters, and a nice cold local brewed beer. It's not cheap though, as everything has to be brought to the island. A local woman told us, that a gallon of milk is about $ 12.00. Wow! After touring the entire island, we settled on Governor's Beach, which is not far from the cruise ship terminal. The beach is sandy, with no rocks in the water and the most beautiful place to snorkel. The water is crystal clear, and you will find several reefs, just off the beach. There are also artificial reefs, which lots of colorful fish and stingrays. Absolutely amazing! I can just imagine to go diving off Grand Turk... it must be stunning! After returning our scooters and a brief stop at the duty free store, we returned to the Fortuna at about 5:20 pm. The duty free shop had really great deals, especially in regards of alcohol. The prices were a lot lower than in San Juan or St. Thomas! Tonight was the second formal night, the Farewall Gala Night and Dinner. The production show "H2O" was a fast-paced show, with lots of costume and scenery changes, and of course the always fabulous Costa Fortuna Dancers, and singers Liz Roxburgh and Umberto Noto. The show reflects a musical tribute to water and navigation, from Noah's Arc to the Costa Fortuna. Dinner was - as usual - wonderful and absolutely delicious. During the Farewell Gala night, Costa used to serve Baked Alaska, but replaced it with a layered cake with frosting. The cake is unique, but absolutely delicious. Michael B. Levin was scheduled at 11:15 pm and was advertised as Late Night Comedy. There was hardly any comedy, just singing. About 10 minutes in the show we left, as this was the weakest and most boring show of all. Not worth going to... I'd rather see more of the Costa Fortuna dancers! DAY 7 - AT SEA: On our final day we decided to order breakfast in our cabin. And as ordered, our breakfast arrived promptly at 9:00 am. I also ordered some smoked salmon from the restaurant menu, which is absolutely wonderful. Besides the coffee, espresso and juices, we had fresh rolls and croissants, jams and cream cheese. We went to the sun deck to enjoy our last day of the cruise. The lunch buffet was another hit, with lots of Italian and Mediterranean specialties. Costa also offered a Happy Hour that day, with 2 for 1 drink specials between 4 pm and 6 pm. It's good for all mix drinks, draft beer and wine by the glass. Don't miss the Costa Fortuna crew show "I have a dream", which only has one showing at 4 pm. Crew members show off their talent! This was an absolutely great production, with awesome music and great effects! The evening was dedicated Roman night! Bed sheets and "crowns" were delivered to your stateroom in the afternoon, to be used to make a toga. Don't use the sheets off your bed though! Your room steward/stewardess will not appreciate it. This is an absolute fun night. Where else can you go to dinner in a toga, without being questioned by law enforcement. Although not everybody is getting into the spirit, it appeared that the second sitting passengers were much more involved in wearing togas compared to the early sitting. You'll see all kind of creative togas! Funny, just to watch. We had our own togas packed and got right into the spirit of dressing up... so much fun! The Roman Night/Talent Show is at 10:45 pm (one show for both sittings). You may want to go to the theatre a little bit earlier than usual, if you want to have good seats, as it gets crowded. Max, the Cruise Director, did another great job as Julius Caesar. Apparently they had some guests dropping out of the talent contest, as there were only five participants. Usually they had at least eight or so... but it was a fun night. Very talented people on board, and nobody was sent to the lions! LOL... You'll see! The luggage has to be outside of your cabin door no later than 1:00 am. So if you're still wearing your toga, make sure you'll put a change of clothes aside. Otherwise you might have to explain to Customs & Immigration, why you're wearing a toga... Also at 1:00 am all Costa card accounts will be closed. If you are still up and want to get a drink at one of the bars, you have to pay in cash. The final account statement will be delivered to your mailbox outside of your cabin door by around 3:00 am. DAY 8 - FORT LAUDERDALE/DISEMBARKATION: Unfortunately our cruise is coming to an end and we're back in Fort Lauderdale. We got up around 7:00 am and went for breakfast one final time to the buffet on deck 9. We collected our belongs from our cabin, said good-bye to our room stewardess Merlina and our butler Jacob, and made our way towards the lobby. We had red colored luggage tags, which called for a disembarkation between 8:00 am and 8:15 am. At about 8:10 am they called for all red luggage tags. We scanned our Costa card one final time, before exiting for good - or at least for this cruise. Once in the terminal, our luggage was easily found. We did not experience any wait at the Customs & Immigration counter and were out of the terminal within minutes. Another wonderful Costa cruise has come to a conclusion. IN CONCLUSION: Costa has done it again and both, my wife and I, can't wait to board a Costa ship again. Despite negative comments and posts, I would give the Costa Fortuna a 5+ rating in every aspect, from cleanliness, entertainment, food, comfort, cabin, public areas, itinerary and friendliness! Gracie Mille, Costa! I would like to take a moment to express a SPECIAL THANKS to the following Costa staff members: Commandante Massimo Garbarino - for being an outstanding and personable Captain Max Bertolotto - for being (once again) such a wonderful and high energy Cruise Director Manuela Vaccalluzzo - for having so much fun with all passengers throughout the cruise and for being a great Assistant Cruise Director Edgar Cortez - our head waiter, for being attentive and for having so much fun with us... "Cheese Please!!!" Steve - our assistant waiter, for always keeping up with Edgar Merlina - our room stewardess, for keeping our cabin, clean and spotless, and for such cute towel animals! Jacob - our butler, for taking care of pretty much everything for us, from small to big. Veal, Allessandro and all other chefs and kitchen staff of the Costa Fortuna, for providing such excellent and wonderful meals throughout the week. Thanks to you, I definitely have to go on a diet now. The rest of the Costa Fortuna staff, for keeping the ship spotless and clean, for keeping us safe and for making our cruise truly memorable and outstanding! THANK YOU! Following now, is a brief overview of certain events, rather a day by day review, starting with the embarkation: EMBARKATION: We arrived at Port Everglades around 11:20 am on an extremely cold (at least for us Floridians) morning and dropped off our luggage in front of the terminal of Pier 19, where the Costa Fortuna was anchored. The parking garage is right next to Pier 19 and 21, where I parked the car. We proceeded into the terminal at about 11:30 am and had no lines at the security screening. Once security screening is completed, you are required to complete a "Health Questionaire", which is geared to find out if you have any symptoms of H1N1. It's only a short form, and has to be completed before you check in (it's NOT part of your online/web check-in form!). But to make things quicker and easier for you, bring your own pen! Once you've completed the form, you can either use one of the self check-in kiosks (similar to airline check-ins), or proceed into the next hall, where you have Costa staff members checking you in at the counter. There was some confusion amongst some travelers, who thought they HAD to check in at the kiosk. We skipped the kiosks and proceeded to the check-in counter. Suite customers, as well as Costa club members of Coral status or above will have a separate check-in line, which we took advantage of. My parents did not have a suite, and they proceeded towards the "regular" check-in line. We experienced no wait and were promptly greeted by a Costa staff member, who checked our passports and reviewed the web check-in form I had printed at home. In less than two minutes we were ready and proceeded towards the ship. Due to the large amount of Costa check-in staff, my parents were done with their check-in in similar time. A small line formed, as a picture is being taken before you go onboard, followed by another security/I/D/ check point. We boarded the Fortuna, and before you enter the main lobby, your mug shot/head shot will be taken (used for identification when exiting/entering the ship at ports). We were on board by 12:00 noon! It was the most efficient and smooth check-in so far yet! Costa has done a great job improving the check-in procedures over the years! THE SHIP: Even though the Costa Fortuna was build in 2003, she will not show that she is 7 years old. We were familiar with the Fortuna from our last Costa cruise in 2007 and have also sailed on her younger sister, the Costa Magica before. The interior of the ship is spotless, elegant, colorful and full of surprises. The Fortuna — named for the mythological goddess Fortuna, daughter of Poseidon, god of the sea — has a refined, occasionally whimsical, decor. Every public room is nostalgically inspired by, and named after, famous liners that provided trans-Atlantic service between Italy and America, such as the Rex Theatre, the Michelangelo and Rafaello Restaurant and the Grand Bar Conte Di Savoia. My favorite part is the open and colorful main lobby, with the glass elevators and "upside down" Costa ships, which are represented at the ceiling. Each area of the ship has it's own unique flair and flavor and represents a warm and vibrant Italian flair, in the style of Joe Farcus. THE CABIN: Our Grand Suite 7289 appeared like home to us, as we occupied the exact same room twice before, once on the Magica and once on our last cruise with the Fortuna. The Grand Suite offers an impressive open layout, with a large sitting area with couch, chairs and table, a marble desk, an impressive 3 closets, a dresser, a make-up/dressing area, a huge bathroom featuring a whirlpool tub/shower combination, bidet (yes, it's an European thing), a double sink with marble countertop and marble bathroom floor, and of course an oversized balcony with 2 chairs, a table and 2 loungers. The wall above the bed has a full length and height mirror, making this room appear even larger. This suite also features dimmable halogen lights and offers the most comfort you can imagine. Suites and Grand Suites enjoy a few extra perks, such as butler service, complimentary dinner for 2 at the Club Restaurant (Tuscan Steakhouse), a special cocktail reception with the Captain, bathrobes and slippers for your use, a pillow menu, full in room dining opportunities for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation privileges. If you want to cruise in comfort in style... this is the ultimate luxury! THE CRUISE STAFF: I saw posts here, where people are complaining about rude and unfriendly staff members. With all honesty, we did not encounter ONE staff member, who was not friendly. No matter where you went on the Fortuna, everybody is smiling and greets you promptly. From bar service staff members to the waiter in the restaurant and buffet areas, from the cruise entertainment staff to the casino staff/dealers, from the maintenance workers to the customer service staff, from the housekeeping staff to spa staff... during our week long cruise we did not encounter one unfriendly or rude staff member. Just walking along the corridor, you'll be promptly greeted, "Good Morning, Sir", "Good Afternoon, How are you?", or "Good Evening, Sir". Even though your cabin is not in their area, housekeeping staff will always greet you promptly and with a smile. Max, our cruise director, did another wonderful job. He is very people oriented and high energy and is there for you if you should need him. The assistant cruise director, Manuela, is doing an outstanding job with all kind of activities around the ship, including Super Bingo. Most of the entertainment staff is from Italy and is high energy 24/7. The Captain, Massimo Garbarino, seems to have the Fortuna fully under control. He's quite an amazing person and we had the opportunity to talk to him personally for some time during the special Suite cocktail reception. He is with Costa Crociere since 1978 and was born in Genoa, Italy, a city known for seafarer and ship builders. His ability to speak fluently five languages is amazing and it is a please to just sit down with him and "chat". THE FOOD: With most posters on Cruise Critic, this seems to be one of the most fought about issues when it comes to Costa cruises. Both, my wife and I, have always enjoyed the international flair of Costa, which is also represented when it comes to food. Please understand, that Costa is an Italian cruise line, which serves Italian style food, which may not appeal to all, especially to Americans which are not familiar with international cuisine, and may think that Pizza Hut or Olive Garden is as Italian as it gets. No offense, but we've seen it first hand this week, where fellow cruisers stated, they did not like the food and stated that Costa definitely needs to change and cater to the Americans... At this point I had to interfere and made my point clear as well: Costa is Italian. If you don't like it, cruise with Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian or Celebrity, where different food will be served. It would be the same as going to Italy and demanding that they need to change the way they cook pasta or bake pizza, just because I like it the American way. I hate when I read posts like "The food is horrible" or "Lost weight during my cruise". Just because the food is not the way YOU LIKE it to be, doesn't make the food horrible. The food on Costa is outstanding, and I'll post a complete menu from our cruise in a separate post. The dishes are mouthwatering, and I had a hard time to decide which main course I should choose... so I usually got two. Probably the main reason I have to go on a diet now. Most amazing is the pasta, which is always cooked al dente. Don't know how Costa does it, but it is always cooked perfect. The Italian specialties, such as lamb and veal are outstanding, the soups unique and flavorful and the appetizers are different and tasty. Costa offers Italian culinary delights from start to finish from appetizers to desserts, from the buffet restaurant to the formal restaurants and the specialty restaurant. The "Tuscan Steakhouse" or club restaurant is not to be missed. It offers a true culinary experience and is well worth a visit during your cruise. Just make sure to put in your reservation as soon as possible, as only 50 people per night will be served in the restaurant. For Suite/Grand Suite customers a visit for two is included, otherwise the dining experience will be $ 30.00 per person. Well worth it in my opinion! I will also include the menu for the specialty restaurant with the separate post! ITINERARY/PORT OF CALLS: Our port of calls were St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk for this cruise. I liked the itinerary, as it provided mostly full day stops, instead of only a few hours. We've been to St. Thomas several times in the past, although there's always something new, we've seen San Juan several times, but usually only by night, and Grand Turk was a new stop for us. St. Thomas: As in the past, we've rented a Jeep to explore the island on our own pace. We visited Coki Beach, which provides excellent snorkel opportunities, but will get crowded quickly, as the day goes on. It's not a big beach, and will get overrun by people in the early afternoon, as excursions end and people have time to hang out. Magans Bay is another beautiful and large beach, but can also get crowded, as it is one of the most famous and popular beaches on the island. Overall, St. Thomas is a beautiful spot and great stop on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. San Juan: We rented a Jeep from Enterprise which are not located by the piers, but are about 10 minutes away. They picked us up and we were off exploring the San Juan area, although it was raining all day long. We drove to the Barcadi factory, enjoyed the tour (and the sample drinks!) and were planning to drive to the rain forest, but weather changed our plans and returned the car in the early afternoon. Driving can be difficult, especially with very little or confusing signage. When it rains, everything seems to come to snarl, as drainage is backed up in the streets, causing flooding, even over major roadways. Strolled through Old San Juan, did some shopping and returned to the ship. Grand Turk: The most beautiful stop on this itinerary in my opinion. The island only has about 2500 permanent resident. The population easily doubles or triples when big cruise ships like the Fortuna roll in. The entire cruise center was build by Carnival and provides shopping opportunities, bars, a free use of a nice swimming pool and beach chairs. We rented two motor scooters from Tony's Car Rental. He is located just outside the gate of the port area and does NOT accept any credit cards. So make sure to bring cash along. Included in the scooter rental is the helmet and gas. Due to the size of the island, traffic is very minimal and makes it ideal for riding. The speed limit throughout the island is 20 mph, but remember, as Grand Turk is part of the British West Indies, you'll have to drive on the LEFT. Watch out for wild animals, such as horses, donkeys, pigs, chicken or dogs. They seem to roam freely throughout the entire island. This island offers the most beautiful places to snorkel, with crystal clear water and lots of marine life and reefs. You'll find plenty of large conch shells along the shorelines of Grand Turk as well. An absolutely stunning island; quiet, not touristy and the most beautiful turquoise water in the Caribbean! ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment on the Fortuna offered a variety of different venues. I read some posts about an Elton John impersonator, but he must have gotten off the ship already, as we did not have a show with him. Costa Fortuna Dancers: We had several variety/production shows with the Costa Fortuna Dancers. Great productions and a pleasure watching the dancers! Bravissimo! Singers Umberto Noto and Liz Roxburgh: Both singers are awesome and both singers are extremely talented! They usually appeared as part of the production shows with the Costa Fortuna Dancers. Great variety, great voices and great performances! Always a pleasure to watch any of the production shows! Acrobats Gabi & Norbi: They appeared a couple of times and are two extremely talented acrobats from Europe. I would not even want to attempt any of their stunts... Absolutely amazing!!! Tenor Antonio Colamorea: The Italian tenor Antonio Colamorea performed during the Italian night and featured a tribute to Andrea Bocelli. He drew one of the biggest crowds for the second seating passengers. What a great voice he has! Outstanding! Singer Michael B. Levin: He performed a show "Sinatra, Bennett and Me", which was okay, but kind of got old very quickly. Probably the least exciting performance. He also had a comedy show the following night at 11:15 pm. Thought it would be like stand up comedy, but instead he was more singing than anything else. Left about 10 minutes into the show, which was extremely weak. Rather see more of the other performances. Crew Show "I have a dream": This showcases some of the talents hidden within the staff members of the Costa Fortuna. From housekeeping to bartenders, singers to dancers, this is a show you don't want to miss. It took place on the last sea day at 4:00 pm in the afternoon. It was a great tribute to all Costa employees. The show was very well put together, with a Costa introduction! One of the highlights, really!!! Roman Night / Guest Talent Show: This is a most see event. Just make sure you wear your toga, it's even more fun! They must have had some drop outs of performers, as we only had five guests performing. In the past, I remember it was at least 8 or more. Max and Manuela, the entertainment staff and the Costa Fortuna dancers are doing an outstanding job with this "party"! Awesome!!! Don't miss it! DISEMBARKATION: Make sure you'll have your luggage outside of your cabin by no later than 1:00 am the day you are scheduled to arrive, and make sure you don't still wear your toga! LOL Disembarkation is easy and organized. Costa offers an early disembarkation at 7:00 am, for the first 500 passengers who are registering with Guest Services. Keep in mind, if you are signing up for early disembarkation, you MUST be able to get your entire luggage off the ship yourself, as the staff members are not cleared to go off the ship at this point. If you have only limited amount of luggage, this might be for you, but you must sign up with Guest Services. All other disembarkation is done in order by colors. You will receive color coded luggage tags in your cabin. According to your luggage tag color, you will be meeting/assembling in certain areas of the ship awaiting disembarkation. Here are the estimated disembarkation times, luggage tag colors and meeting points: 7:00 am - BLACK (Rex Theatre - Deck 3) 7:45 am - PINK (Rex Theatre - Deck 3) 8:00 am - RED (Grand Bar Conti Di Savoia - Deck 5) 8:15 am - WHITE (Leonardo Da Vinci Lounge - Deck 5) 8:30 am - YELLOW (Grand Bar Conti Di Savoia - Deck 5) 8:45 am - GREEN (Rex Theatre - Deck 3) 9:00 am - BLUE (Leonardo Da Vinci Lounge - Deck 5) 9:15 am - ORANGE (Rex Theatre - Deck 3) 9:30 am - PURPLE (Rex Theatre - Deck 3) 9:30 am - BROWN (Leonardo Da Vinci Lounge - Deck 5) THE CONCLUSION: Another memorable and enjoyable Costa cruise came to an end for us. Both, my wife and I, will be back for more Costa cruising. We enjoy the international flair and touch of Costa, its crew members and international passengers. For some, announcements in five different languages (English, Italian, German, French and Spanish) might be annoying, but for us it is enjoyable. It makes it even more of an international vacation than usual. Thank you to all the hard working Costa crew members, which made our 5th Costa cruise another exciting and memorable one. I truly hope that Costa will remain its course with keeping their cruising experience the Italian way and will not "Americanize". For now, it's time for me to start planning on the next Costa cruise (2011?). Until then... Ciao! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
Just got back from an enjoyable time aboard the Costa Fortuna. Before you read too deeply into this mostly favorable review keep in mind I'm still dwelling on the positives of a bingo jackpot win and a wife who managed to accomplish ... Read More
Just got back from an enjoyable time aboard the Costa Fortuna. Before you read too deeply into this mostly favorable review keep in mind I'm still dwelling on the positives of a bingo jackpot win and a wife who managed to accomplish her two goals on the ship: sleeping and reading two books. I also thoroughly enjoyed the music of John Ciotta who sung a lot of great Italian songs, both traditional and American. Just wish they could have brought him back for another show. The Him and Me "physical comedy" show was great fun as well and the Fortuna singers and dancers did a great job as well. This was my 18th cruise, and I think the 7th for my 6-year-old. I've sailed Costa three previous times, twice on the Mediterranea and once on the Atlantica. And that's a good place to start in terms of comparisons. Probably my biggest complaint about the Fortuna was the layout. I'm still puzzled how naval architects can design a ship that doesn't let you walk all the way from the front to the back on almost every deck. That was the case on the Atlantica, the Mediterranea and the Carnival Liberty. You can fault me for not having my ship map with me at all times but I was not the only one spending a confusing few days at sea trying to navigate decks 3, 4, and 5 trying to find the right way to get to the dining room. The passengers on board were predominantly Italian, German, French and Americans along with a smattering of Canadians and Brits. Smoking should be banned in ALL areas of the ship, apparently the show lounge and dining rooms are off limits to smokers. This ship did seem more crowded in terms of deck space. Pool chairs were gone quickly on days at sea. Either people were leaving blue towels on them or they were gone and the towels remained. It's a constant issue on cruise ships (as well as at mid-priced land-based resorts) and I don't have the answer to combat it. Ports of call included Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Roatan. And I do have some good advice for those ports. Don't bother buying a ship's tour for Key West. Take the free shuttle into town or walk if you're at the pier closer to Mallory Square. Key West is a destination that's better stayed in than visited because at the end of the day it's all about the characters, not the t-shirt shops or restaurants. At Grand Cayman you'll tender ashore. We did the stingray tour and bought our tickets at the port area. Got quite a deal, despite some confusion about what time the tour actually departed. We bargained and paid $60 for two adults and two kids. The "bargain" got us an overcrowded bus (with my nephew left to stand and my son perched on my lap) and an overcrowded boat ride out to Stingray City. I'm hoping there were ample lifevests on board. I'm betting that after a serious mishap there will be questions asked these tour operators. Nothing bad happened to us, and we had an enjoyable day, despite chilly water temperatures and choppy seas. In Cozumel we did the beach thing. We bought our tickets on board and got our own cab (roughly $20) to Playa Mia.) And in Roatan we also did the beach thing. That was a really, really nice day at a great beach resort that featured a separate area that had nurse sharks, sea turtles and other assorted ocean life. The beach was clean, the water was clear, and apart from loud music from a singer belting out his rendition of Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffet songs it was a really relaxing day. Interestingly enough at this resort construction is underway on a new pier that I'm told will be used by the Carnival family of ships. It's a great location for a pier and will skip the rather tatty and somewhat impoverished looking "downtown" area which also has a new cruise dock and fairly nice shops. Food on board the Fortuna was good. Service in the dining room was sporadic. Not sure there was ever a night in which our table got coffee served promptly. But waitstaff was certainly cordial and clearly they worked very, very hard. A little something extra would make them very happy at the end of your cruise. The waitstaff also had a number of great songs and dances during the course of our week at sea. Only other weird thing about the Fortuna was the dining hours. During days at sea many people got turned away from the main dining rooms because breakfast ended at 9:30. We showed up at 9:27 and clearly they weren't happy to see us. It was also odd not having a dining option at about 6:30 in the evening if we decided to skip the dining room. The buffet didn't open til about 8:00 which meant our plan to eat first and then catch the early show in the lounge wasn't going to work. (I know, I know. Pay attention to the hours listed in the on-board schedule.) But you'd think a casual dining option might be available! Disembarkation was a mess, not because of the Fortuna, but because our nation seems to have cut back on immigration inspectors and there was quite a bottleneck getting off the ship. One more thing. Forget about getting peace and quiet on the Deck 10 near the pool. Loud thumping dance music is going all the time for dance classes or workouts. My kid, nephew, mother-in-law and wife all had a great time. We didn't get seasick, food-poisoning or sunburnt. We didn't pay a lot so we really can't complaining about anything. Not sure I'd rush back to the Fortuna but had no serious complaints. Would definitely return to another Costa ship because we truly had a lot of fun! Read Less
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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