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16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015

We had been on Costa ships several times in the past and enjoyed the style & quality. We had actually cruised on this ship (COSTA MAGICA) 2 times in the past.

Unfortunately, our experience with the latest cruise was ... Read More

We had been on Costa ships several times in the past and enjoyed the style & quality. We had actually cruised on this ship (COSTA MAGICA) 2 times in the past.

Unfortunately, our experience with the latest cruise was absolutely terrible.

It was especially disappointing as the COSTA MAGICA was the first cruise ship my wife and I experienced about 6 years ago.

The comments below are only the most noticeable of the issues, there are other smaller things that we

have not mentioned (such as cruise itinerary, port quality etc).

ARRIVAL At the departure terminal, things were quite chaotic, with no clear place for check in or anyone to help with the luggage.

ROOM We were given a handicapped room, that was actually a single cabin that was converted into a double for this trip. We requested a cabin change, but understood that we would have to wait and see after the ship sailed. This is the last we heard from the customer service department. There was also a lot of mold in the shower.

FOOD This was our biggest problem on the ship, for the reasons listed below, The food quality on many items was extremely low. We had dried-out fish, chicken that you could not cut, cold soup, dry bread, overcooked, dry spaghetti.  In addition, there were items that were actually dangerous (seafood soup that smelled like sewer water), Fish that was moldy Under and over cooked food (pasta, chicken, fish so dry that it could not be swallowed, steak fries that could not be cut, mashed potatoes that had lumps the size of quarters.   The buffet restaurant was only open for 2 nights of the cruise, but perhaps this was a blessing as the food selection was terrible....it looked like food from a charity hospital for the poor.  The lunch selection at the buffet was the same poor quality and exactly the same choice every day.  On one lunch service we asked for some salt, and the staff member we asked pointed to an adjacent occupied table and told us we could ask our fellow passengers for the salt.

ENTERTAINMENT For the entire cruise, the only entertainment offering were the standard cruise dance company shows and a crew only show, There was no off ship, higher quality entertainment offered as on past Costa cruises.

SHIPS AMENITIES The entire ship had a threadbare and rundown feel. The bed linens were torn & stained.

CABIN ATTENDANTS The cabin service was much poorer that on previous sailings, with a much lower staff previous cruises.

Anyway, the entire experience was a total shock for us. On all our other cruises we have been on (Costa, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, P & O, and the World of Resinensea), we always wanted to stay and extra couple of days. On this cruise, we were desperate to leave after 4 to 5 days on board.

The food and entertainment on Costa have always been their main attraction. The ships amenities are fairly basic in modern cruising (NO movie theaters, ice-rinks, climbing walls, water parks, golf nets, tennis courts etc.).

However, when people asked us about this cruise (mostly asking us if that is the company whose ship sank), we replied that although the ships amenities were fairly poor, the food & entertainment were First Class....boy were we wrong about that......

NOT a 4 star ship....in-fact I think that 2 and a half stars would be generous.

 

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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014

I enjoyed this cruise and the ship a lot! First things first, you have to remember that it is an Italian Cruise line so everything is general chaos. Boarding, not having your prepaid beverage and excursion packages set right is to be ... Read More

I enjoyed this cruise and the ship a lot! First things first, you have to remember that it is an Italian Cruise line so everything is general chaos. Boarding, not having your prepaid beverage and excursion packages set right is to be expected (especially if you booked in the US). I arrived in the Venice train station, Expedia never forwarded the luggage tags so it was a chore getting my luggage to the ship (and I mean a chore). If you have the tags you can give them to the Costa people at the train station. Must remember to get luggage tags. Boarding was chaos and you never knew which group number they were on, just get in line and if they say no, get back in line and so on until they finally say yes.

Expect rudeness at the front desk when you walk on the ship as most of them are Italian as well as from the Eastern Europeans that work on this ship have a bit of an attitude. Those from Asia and India are the best! They shut the coffee service off after a certain time from breakfast and the buffets have certain times they are open or closed, so be prepared! Unlike NCL where you can get something to drink at any time, it is not the case on Costa. I had the beverage package which also included the espresso's so that was an added bonus as other ships charge for that. I showered in the spa where there were large private showers with soap and it was so much better than the small shower in my room. I pre-booked the excursions through Costa's website. The site is kind of a nightmare. Have receipts for everything. I was told that I didn't have the beverage package, so I had to show the receipt which was in my room and was paid for 6 weeks in advance. I then was charged again for my excursion. So I had to show those receipts. Then I was told I didn't book the English tour so they had to recharge me and credit the other. The only tour you can book on the US Costa website is English.

Either way, if you can get through that little bit of chaos, then you will have a great time on Costa. Oh, on rainy days, they don't put up larger canopy's like Norwegian when you are waiting to get on the ship from an excursion and security does not move fast. So be prepared as we were soaked trying to get on the ship in Malta. Leaving the ship in Genoa was very fast and the bus was quick to the train station.

The weather was cooler as it was November and the ship moved fast (4 hours in a port as it was moving quickly to Barcelona to head to the Caribbean) which made me a little sea sick. The shows are done so that all languages can understand them and they are not bad. The night where they have amateur crew members showing their talents is rather intriguing. The ship does a good job in having workshops explaining in specific languages what to expect when leaving the ship, etc. and they do a good job in making sure that you are on the right excursion bus. The food was okay, nothing much to write home about. I was by myself for dinner, so my first night I was sat at a small table by myself surrounded by large tables of 8 or 10, so it was a little uncomfortable. The waiter kept forgetting I was there, so service was not so good nor was getting my water refilled, so I skipped it other nights until the last night which was Thanksgiving. I decided to show up for the early dining to throw them for a loop to see if I could get a better table which was the case. They served Turkey for Thanksgiving, so that made my night. Also, people tend to dress up a lot more than the casual NCL cruises at all times of the day and especially at dinner.

Overall, I enjoyed Costa a lot and kept busy the entire time on the ship and I would most certainly travel with Costa and on the Costa Magica again. Just remember as an American and English speaker, you are the minority and providing the best service is not their expertise.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
We had cruised in the past with another cruise line and were not impressed. However Costa Magica was incredible. Service was great. The food was outstanding and the ship itself was wonderful. All excursions were top rate. We enjoyed the ... Read More
We had cruised in the past with another cruise line and were not impressed. However Costa Magica was incredible. Service was great. The food was outstanding and the ship itself was wonderful. All excursions were top rate. We enjoyed the activities and our room with a balcony was so relaxing and comfortable. Back to the food, every time we had pasta it was cooked to perfection...andante!!! The dinners in the evening had a varied menu of great entrees. We have traveled the world and have stayed at many high end hotels and have had fine dinners at many notable restaurants. Our experience here with Costa did not disappoint us. We were very happy with everything. In Venice, it can be a bit crazy at the Port but they had everything laid out so easy to get luggage taken care of and get right on board and the same ease for disembarking. Overall...a truly great experience!!!!!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014

Having read some negative reviews I wondered what the experience would be.

Check in was efficient and we checked in earlier than the stated time.

The ship was nicely decorated. We had the inclusive drinks package. This ... Read More

Having read some negative reviews I wondered what the experience would be.

Check in was efficient and we checked in earlier than the stated time.

The ship was nicely decorated. We had the inclusive drinks package. This gave good value for money and included practically all drinks with no limit.

The restaurant served excellent food and was well presented and served, sometimes service was a bit slow but nothing to complain about.

The entertainment was to a high standard and staged very well.

The time ashore was always quite limited but enough to get a quick view of the destination.

The passengers were mainly Italian with maybe 30% UK and other nationalities. The Italians are not good at queuing and the buffet lunch was a bit of a bun fight. The buffet food was not as varied as Holland America line.

The cabin we had was inside, had plenty of room and was well equipped.

I would recommend the cruise if you are prepared to accept that it is not top notch but very good value.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014

I have only been on many Celebrity Cruises before and one P&O therefore I was geared up to expect a lower standard of cruise based on reviews I had read. This Costa cruise represents excellent value for money. The ship is clean and ... Read More

I have only been on many Celebrity Cruises before and one P&O therefore I was geared up to expect a lower standard of cruise based on reviews I had read. This Costa cruise represents excellent value for money. The ship is clean and well maintained. (When on Celebrity there was an outbreak of e-coli which was a pain and I felt Celebrity were thereafter over the top - couldn't even borrow library books!). The staff without exception were friendly and fun not like the obsequious staff on American ships! Nothing was too much trouble and always a smile. It was nice to spend the cruise with a mixture of nationalities, not a loud American in sight! ( I do however love Americans!)

The food was not good. Occasional fish dish was ok. Buffet for breakfast and lunch was like a cattle market and very noisy.

Entertainment was extremely average.

Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and not at all chaotic as Celebrity had been.

The off boat trips were very good particularly the trip to The Acropolis, top notch guide. Too short a time in each port.

On the whole good value for money but will not go with Costa again as like to relax and have some luxuries.

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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014

We sailed from Venice down the Adriatic from Venice and had a two night stay in Venice. We had read very bad reviews about the Costa Magica and as this was our first cruise we were quite nervous. Although we can make some suggestions as ... Read More

We sailed from Venice down the Adriatic from Venice and had a two night stay in Venice. We had read very bad reviews about the Costa Magica and as this was our first cruise we were quite nervous. Although we can make some suggestions as we did find some faults ,we did have a lovely cruise with a very happy staff and an international mixed group of fellow passengers. Our first surprise was how many of the passengers were in there thirties upwards and the Italians particularly had children with them who all seemed well behaved. We are in our seventies and had expected to be with people of that age- group and older. We enjoyed the lively atmosphere and seeing the young ones enjoying themselves Our cabin with balcony was very nice and kept well by our steward Eduardo who worked from morning till night. We also had a sofa as well as double bed which was appreciated. We were seated in the Esmeralda Restaurant which was difficult to find but was really beautiful with excellent waiter service. Our two Indian waiters were exceptional and one A. Shetty in particular had the most genuine happy smile. If someone ordered a meal and then changed their mind no questions were asked and the meals were hot in spite of the large number of diners. The menu did rather favour Italian dishes, but then it is an Italian ship, but the food was varied -portions only small, but then you could order as many courses as you wanted so would never go hungry. The Italian night was wonderful and we danced with the waiters and nearly every night some music or something else would happen in the dining room. (One night all the lights went out and the waiters had some sort of flares in their hands and then they appeared with large cakes at our tables.) We were also delighted at the speed and efficiency of the lifts and the decor of the ship is lovely with the Italian theme throughout -even the decks are the names of the Italian masters.

Our main criticisms would be. a) the self-service restaurant closed very early so anyone who wanted to opt out of formal dining would have to eat very early. I felt there should be always something open for eating as this gives the passenger freedom of movement, particularly on days off the ship (which in our case was everyday except one) The length of time off ship is also only a few hours and therefore this usually means everyone scrambling for meals at the same time.(ie. before they leave the ship) There is an option however to get your meal inc. breakfast served to you in a dining room. We also did not like people smoking with their meals in the outside area near the pool on deck 9 as often the dining rooms were full and we had no choice but to eat there with people smoking -not nice at all.

The entertainment in the theatre was good and there are ample bars with all kinds of different entertainment. There is something to do each hour of the day on the ship (quizzes etc) but we personally were quite happy to watch the waves and read from our balcony as it is quite hard to find a quiet corner.

We did not get a drinks package as I do not drink alcohol and they would not allow us only one as we were a couple. However we did not find our drinks bill excessive, but do remember you have 8 euros per day service charge per person.

All in all we found our first cruise with Costa -fun- not at all 'stuffy' -it is for the people who are prepared to mix and observe other nationalities . We thought it was value for money and we were very happy with the itinary which took us from glorious Venice, to Bari then Greece, Turkey and Dubrovnik. Happy ship!

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014

Costa is a good cruise line if you want to spend a lot for very little. I had cruised on Carnival in the Caribbean and had expected a comparable level of quality. I was totally wrong. The food is akin to a high school cafeteria. It is ... Read More

Costa is a good cruise line if you want to spend a lot for very little. I had cruised on Carnival in the Caribbean and had expected a comparable level of quality. I was totally wrong. The food is akin to a high school cafeteria. It is also available only at select times (unlike Carnival, when there is ample food available around the clock). The ship employees are barely friendly, and often not. The excursions were inferior and sometimes unavailable to English speakers. The English-speaking guides speak broken English which is hard to understand, and many did not have a command of their topics (or felt limited by their barely proficient English). Unlike Carnival, the ship employees are not eager to please. When I repeatedly requested a change in table, I was told it was impossible. That may have been the case, but their attitude was that I was asking for something unreasonable -- again, quite in contrast to my experience on Carnival. The food was not good and rarely varied from day-to-day. The meat was dry or tough. There were no "special foods" like shrimp or lobster. The desserts were plain and uninteresting.

There were many other non-friendly customer elements: the slide is open only four hours per day. The pools close at 10 pm. There is one choice for dinner (no optional buffets as is the case on Carnival), unless you want to pay extra to eat at the pizza bar.

The only bright spot was the rooms and overall condition of the ship, which was well-maintianed and attractive (though I could do without the nudity all over the walls, especially with kids along).

I know that Carnival owns Costa, but this was not in evidence. I would discourage English-speakers from taking a Costa Cruise. And I can't imagine that the food quality could be pleasing even to Europeans.

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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014

we went on this cruise for our sons 21st birthday it was booked back in january 2014.i read quite a few of the reviews regarding the ship and type of holiday and although people are entitled to their opinion i thought some of the bad ... Read More

we went on this cruise for our sons 21st birthday it was booked back in january 2014.i read quite a few of the reviews regarding the ship and type of holiday and although people are entitled to their opinion i thought some of the bad reviews were a bit harsh, i was wrong the reviews were right, i know the ship is run by a italian company but did not realise so many foriegn people would be on it our group of 5 people were the the only english people.Apart from the theatre in the evening time any announcements were all done in foreign languages apart from maybe about 2 times,i can not fault the staff or the cabin room, we have been on other cruises and the cabin room was loads bigger (inside cabin aswell) the food was ok mainly italian catered for and i agree with one of the reviews the italians were the most ignorant people we have met and did not like queueing for food even when they could see the queue but were pushing in all the time at which point after about 2 days of putting up with this me and my husband no longer did and had quite a few arguments with said people and told them to get to the back of the queue and queue like the rest of us had to and they do understand english?????also on costa cruises you only get free water throughout the day and fresh orange juice in the morning(unless you purchase there drinks packages the cheapest being about £25.00 each per person per day hence we did not have this) of which your not suppose to but most of these people were filling up bottles hence holding up the people queueing for drinks,if they got seen they were told off but did this very crafitly ,the italians also gorged themselves on the food piling there plates with huge masses of food but then did not eat it all which was a great waste and taking this amount of food in the first place meant less for everyone else but they were not bothered about this.and as usual the old sunloungers debate people putting towels on sunbeds but not actually being any where near there sunbed and also people taking your stuff off your sunbed (we had only gone to the toilet) and came back to other people on our sunbeds tannoy annoucements were made but still not adhered to and other charges that you need to be warned about. everytime you order a drink there is a service charge on it and as well as this you are charged everyday another service charge which is payable every day for each person and was 8 euros each per day per person which in the exchange rate worked out bout £9.60 so for 10 day for us 5 which equates to about £480.00 and although the travel agent told us about the service charge she didnt know if this was optional and she did not know how much it would be rubbish travel agent???? so my advise is to anyone thinking of going on a cruise dont go on any costa cruises as we felt we were being ripped off all the time and the word cattle market came to mind as you just felt like you were being herded round all the time especailly at meal times so avoid avoid theres plenty of other cruise liners out there.

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Sail Date: July 2014

We had a generally nice cruise (2 adults, 2 children). The crew was very polite, the ship very clean and well decorated, the program of free entertainment very rich. However, it was relatively expensive everything it was not included in ... Read More

We had a generally nice cruise (2 adults, 2 children). The crew was very polite, the ship very clean and well decorated, the program of free entertainment very rich. However, it was relatively expensive everything it was not included in the cruise package (excursions [well organized] etc). Our cabin was in the size I imagined, well climatized and served.

No problem with the food; well cooked and satisfactory variety. You can also fill small bottles with water on the 9th deck.

No smoking rules were strictly kept throughout the cruise.

You have to know english or italian to communicate easily with most people (the tourists are mainly italians). In reception some speak more languages (french, german etc).

The pools are rather small. It's not a good idea to take a bath in them with many others aroynd you.

The free time we had in some ports (Venice, Corfu) was less we expected.

I would travel again with Costa.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014

Having booked our tour and cruise last year on the spur of the moment and only reading the reviews on this site a month or so before departing, I was not really looking forward to it. The complaints made by some people regards the food, ... Read More

Having booked our tour and cruise last year on the spur of the moment and only reading the reviews on this site a month or so before departing, I was not really looking forward to it. The complaints made by some people regards the food, the Italians, the staff. the ship. the disorganisation at embarkation etc. etc. had me dreading the whole thing! Well, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our weeks cruise and I realise a holiday is what you make it and of course it always helps when you meet like minded people and enjoy your fellow travellers company, which we did. Starting with the embarkation, it took us just over an hour from start to finish and our suitcases arrived at our cabin a couple of hours later just in time to dress for dinner. We were on a table of 10, with 4 other couples from our coach tour and it made dinner very pleasant, we all had tales to tell and it was lovely sharing our days experience. The dinner menu was so varied, you would have to be a very fussy eater indeed not to find something you liked from at least 4 courses! My husband is a bit of a traditionalist with food and he managed to put quite a bit away! The Italians at other meals, well yes they are very loud, grab everything, push in and waste a lot of food but we found we breakfasted early, had lunch late (after they had gorged themselves) and we avoided all the mayhem, so there are ways. Other reviews have stated that salad, pizza and burgers were the only thing on offer for lunch and tea but we had some lovely lunch meals, risotto, calzone, chicken, pork to name just a few and there were always rolls, bread and plenty of fillings if that is your preference. We paid for the drinks package and were very glad we did, it means you don't have to think about your bill at the end and although we are not big drinkers, I had my fill of all the cocktails on offer and enjoyed a latte instead of the coffee on tap, much nicer. Our cabin was just standard, adequate for us and Robin our steward was exceptional, each time we left he came in and tidied up (I could have brought him home with me!!) We always found a lounger on deck (even on the day at sea) and if you avoid the pool area you can find a relatively quiet spot. We found all the staff extremely friendly and helpful, plan to keep in touch with Mery from Peru the best drinks waiter on board! The shows were quite good, costumes and sets very professional, they last about 45 mins so ideal to fit into the evening.

I wanted to post this and cover as many points as I could, just to reassure other people who may be about to cruise on Magica and perhaps be put off by other reviews. If you enjoy it half as much as us then you will have a good time. I wouldn't hesitate to go on another Costa cruise if the itinerary suited.

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Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 1.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 3.0 3.9

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