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213 Costa Magica Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise exclusively because of the ports. Did not have big expectations on Costa cruise lines, the price was not a bargain, but the itinerary and dates matched our needs, so there we went... Right from the beginning, ... Read More
I chose this cruise exclusively because of the ports. Did not have big expectations on Costa cruise lines, the price was not a bargain, but the itinerary and dates matched our needs, so there we went... Right from the beginning, embarkation process was an awful mess, 3 and half hours sat(at the floor) of the crowded terminal. There were 2 boarding gates, we watched the other gate, embarking for the Costa Pacifica, finished the process and ship departed. While the Magica was still calling mid-numbers, finally the Pacifica staff crossed the hall to help the Magica, and after almost 4 hours waiting, (no complimentary food, no water), we finally got on the ship. The ship is in good condition, however, the decor was sort of odd, to say the least. The layout is also strange, not easy to navigate. The light "arms" that decorates the Bellagio buffet is among the ugliest things I have ever seen, also found the Smeralda Dining room tacky. Cabins: Big,(bigger than same category cabins compared to all the other cruise ships I have been), comfortable, good bedding, our stewardess, Epi, was very attentive and not intrusive, excellent! Food: The Buffet overall: poor quality, everyday was the same. no assortment of fruits, the salads were OK. No buffet at night! only pizza... And the water, ice, ice cream stations were always broken. The station coffee was horrible! Of course you can buy espressos and cappuccinos,(I did), 1,7 € each. The dining room had better food, nothing to die for, just OK, edible, second seating ALWAYS opened late, we had to wait outside the dining room for 10 to 15 minutes every night, quite annoying... This has been my first and last Costa, Next time I go to Europe, I will cruise Norwegian or RC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
We sailed on the Costa Magica from Savona, Italy. We asked the cruise line a few months prior to departure if we could disembark in Barcelona a day earlier instead of returning to Savona. Costa agreed as long as we understood that we ... Read More
We sailed on the Costa Magica from Savona, Italy. We asked the cruise line a few months prior to departure if we could disembark in Barcelona a day earlier instead of returning to Savona. Costa agreed as long as we understood that we would not get any partial refund. Since we wanted to stay and explore our favorite European city, Barcelona, we agreed to their preconditions. The itinerary was special for two sailings only. The itinerary was for 9 days starting with a day at sea; Malaga, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar, UK; Alicante, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; and finally back to Savona. Costa is not for all American travelers. We have been on different Costa ships before (2001 on Classica, 2002 on Victoria, 2007 on Fortuna) because we like the European touches and people. We you are used to the more American style of cruising then stick with the other American ships. The staff is mainly from the Philippines and India. Prior to our embarkation in Savona we visited Venice for a few days. We took a train from Venice to Savona through Milan and arrived in Savona the day prior to sailing. The train ride including the connection in Milan took about 5 ½ to 6 hours. Savona is a beautiful seaside city. It is tranquil full of nice little shops and streets. We stayed in the marina area just steps away from the cruise terminal. The name of the hotel is NH Savona-Darsena. It is a new hotel in the marina. The marina is now full of new apartments and shops. I would definitely recommend this hotel although some rooms may be noisy on a Saturday night as there are quite a few bars and restaurants around it. For a good and local dinner try Enzo which is over the bridge, across the marina and behind a gas station. The closest airport to Savona is in Genoa. From Genoa to Savona is a 30 minute train ride. From the train station you have to arrive in the marina by taxi which is about 5-10 minutes away. Getting on the ship was quite easy. The Magica was inaugurated in 2004 and is the sister ship to the Fortuna. The ship is a large ship with nice dEcor. It is quite similar to the Carnival Liberty and its class of ships as it was built by the same shipbuilder. The cabin was typical with adequate furnishings. We stayed in an outside balcony cabin. I would say that the hallways were not as clean as the other ships. I noticed the carpets had spots on them that would need a good shampooing. Overall, the service on the ship, however, was outstanding. European ships are not known for good service but the Magica had very good service. On the other hand, the food at dinner was very bad. Even some of the servers acknowledged the bad food. The breakfast and lunch were good and the afternoon tea time at 4:00 p.m. full of finger foods and small pastries was excellent. We enjoyed the pool. The ship has two pools and a water slide. One of the pools is centrally located while the other is under a retractable roof. On windy or cold days the pool is enclosed while on sunny days the roof is completely open. The night time shows are very nicely produced, although we notice the lack of a live band for these shows. We hope that this is not a trend as nothing beats the sound of a live band during a performance. There are a number of lounge acts. Some were utterly disappointing and should be replaced while others played wonderful Italian music. I think that these Italian singers should stick with singing and playing Italian music since their renditions of American classics, be they rock or swing or jazz, are mostly dreadful. The disco was, for the most part, empty except when the "animators" or the ships employees whose duties were to create excitement visited it. The DJ was only adequate. The casino is not very large and was mostly full even though Europeans are not big on gambling. Day 1 (At Sea) This was a great relaxing day. The weather was unseasonably cooler than normal and the seas were rough as we sped down the western Mediterranean towards Malaga and the Costa del Sol. Day 2 (Malaga, Spain) We did not take a tour since they were expensive (especially with the Euro being so strong). We explored Malaga which is a very nice city. You do not need to take a tour to explore Malaga. The tours take people usually to the beach cities of Torremolinos and Marbella. It is a long walk from the ship to the end of the port. The ship's shuttle took us from the ship and dropped us off on the edge of town. From there we walked up the main streets. The weather was perfect. We took the pedestrian-friendly main street north from the port area. The street is called Called Marques de Larios. On either side of this beautiful avenue you can find many nice stores. You can also take narrow arterial streets and find small stores and cafes serving delicious seafood. A short walk from this area to the east is the beautiful Malaga Cathedral. I would recommend this baroque church that is missing one tower because of the lack of funds when it was built between 1528 and 1782. From here we took a 5 minute stroll to the Alcazaba. This is a Moorish fortification that dates to the 8th century. It is located right next to a Roman ruin that dates to the 2nd Century. From here you can also take in a beautiful view of Malaga's port and see your cruise ship as the Alcazaba is built on a small hill. Day 3 (Casablanca, Morocco) Here we would recommend taking a tour. For those who don't mind being in a bus for several hours there are tours to Marrakech or Rabat. We opted for a ½ day tour in Casablanca. This was a good tour. Our tour guide Kemal was full of wit and tidbits. We visited a seaside area after going through a ritzy neighborhood. We stayed here for 20 minutes. Then we visited a church for about 15 minutes. We visited one of the most beautiful houses of worship we have ever seen. King Hassan II Mosque was partly shrouded in fog when we visited it. The inside is massive and made of mosaic, cedar and granite among others. This is the third largest mosque in the world. We then visited a shop that was filled with souvenirs. We decided to just wait outside since inside was too crowded. We returned to the ship, ate lunch and hired a taxi for $40 to be with us for a few hours. We went to the "Tower Center" area which has some western shops. Shopping was not great as some of the better stores were closed for lunch. We conversed with the driver in French as many people in Casablanca are able to speak French in addition to Arabic. We came back to the ship and used their spa facilities. The spa runs specials when the ship is in port so take advantage of them. On port days the spa is empty. The massages were good. Unfortunately, some "Einstein" ship-designer decided that the children's playroom should be placed above the massage rooms. It is hard to relax when you have the constant thumping of children running above you. Day 4 (Cadiz, Spain) Cadiz is a port city that is the gateway to Seville. We did not visit Cadiz, although it seems like a lovely little town. We took a tour to Seville which I would recommend. Seville is located about 2 hours away and is a lovely city. We visited Plaza de Espana, which was built for the Expo in 1929. We visited the Cathedral in Seville which is the third largest church in the world and where Christopher Columbus is buried. This church is absolutely stunning. We also visited the Alcazar of Seville. This is the palace of Spanish kings and queens whenever they visit Seville. We also visited the old Jewish Quarter where no Jews now live. Seville is overall a stunning city. Day 5 (Lisbon, Portugal) Lisbon has one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The April 25th bridge (which was built by the same company that built the Bay Bridge in northern California) spans the bay. In Lisbon we did not take any tours as most of the town is within walking distance of where the shuttle drops you off. We paid for the ship's shuttle that dropped us off at the Baixa (lower area) which is the downtown of Lisbon. We walked up some of the pedestrian only streets where shops are located. Some of Lisbon is situated on hills so you have to take either stairs or an elevator (a lovely one called Santa Justa Elevator) We then went to Bairro Alto and Chiado (higher neighborhood) which is where the nicer boutiques are located. Then we took the tram down to Avenida de Liberdade that is modeled after Champs-Elysees. This wide boulevard has a park in the middle and is the nicest street for shopping for luxury or just strolling in cool air. On our way back we sampled some great bacalhau which is cod. Lisbon is well known for cod and other seafood. Great restaurants can be found just off Comercio Square which is at the north end of Baixa. Day 6 (Gibraltar) Unfortunately, torrential rains that were very unseasonable kept us away from here. The rains were so fierce that only a few brave souls managed to get off the ship. We again hit the spa and tried to relax in their Jacuzzi and sauna. The spa was deserted so we had the entire place to ourselves. Day 7 (Alicante, Spain) Again it rained here too although a little better than Gibraltar. We took the shuttle outside of the port from where we tried to explore the city. Unfortunately, a storm hit us again and we had to come back. Also, it was a Sunday and the entire city was closed. This is a beautiful and friendly city. We wished we could have had better weather and there are a number of beaches close by, including Postiguet beach which is adjacent to the port. We will definitely try to come back to this lovely town. Day 8 (Barcelona, Spain) The ship is in port only 5 hours which is like visiting the Louvre and spending 10 minutes there. We disembarked and stayed here 3 days. Barcelona's highlights include La Sagrada Familia (the unfinished church due to be completed in about 20 years), Montjuic, the Cathedral, Gaudi buildings, Park Guell and other interesting sites. Las Ramblas a street where the ship shuttle drops you off is over-rated. Unfortunately, those with a few hours to spend in Barcelona see only this street and leave. Barcelona is so much more. Overall, the cruise was very good. The itinerary was excellent. Unfortunately, we hit some bad weather in some parts of southern Spain. But when there was no rain the weather was perfect as September is really a good month to visit Europe. Costa needs to improve its dinners. Service seems to have improved tremendously since we last sailed with them. Hopefully we can take Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
we recently cruised the costa magica, baltic seas.we have have cruised 5 other times. this was our worst cruise ever. We are American and were warned that it is primarily Italians, let's say 90% Italians. Of 3,000 passengers, perhaps ... Read More
we recently cruised the costa magica, baltic seas.we have have cruised 5 other times. this was our worst cruise ever. We are American and were warned that it is primarily Italians, let's say 90% Italians. Of 3,000 passengers, perhaps 100 spoke English as their primary language. We probably spoke to 6 people our entire cruise. The Italians on board were the focus of the ship, they were always in large groups, so much so that it made it difficult to even get food at times. They were rude, stepped on you, walked in front of you, didn't seem to care about anybody else but themselves. We were shocked the moment the ship left dock, no announcements, no bonvoyage send off, they just left! We went to dinner that night, table for 8, only 2 other people at our table, an older couple from the US. The table was always set for 8 and nobody else ever came to dinner, very strange. The food was TERRIBLE. The entrees were very strange, never tasted good. The rolls were hard as rocks, we ordered fish several times, it was so bad we couldn't even eat it. We NEVER had a good meal. Please don't go for the food if you are American, you will be disappointed. Even the breakfast buffet was bad, lunch was another problem, all they seemed to want to serve was pizza, if you didn't eat in the main dinning room at night your only other option was pizza, once again. Unless you opted to pay more and go to another dinning room, which I'm sure wasn't good. My husband and I both got some type of food poisoning. I was sick for two days then my husband was ill one day. Certainly took a toll on the trip. The shows were poor, lots of foreign language, totally boring. The cruise ship director was basically nonexistent. Other cruises they have been present and directed the activities of the ship. We only saw the man at the evening shows, he wasn't even entertaining then. Dinner was very late, 7:30, that was early sitting, shows were at 10:00. During the whole cruise we were told very little about anything, few announcements, if there were any about half were never made in English, we just guessed as to what was happening. Good part of the cruise: ports were very interesting, we enjoyed all of them, but basically saw them on our own except St. Petersburg. Our Stockholm trip was cancelled because the ship got in too late. Good thing we had Rick Steve Books so we could do it on our own. Our room was an inside room, bottom floor, we loved it. It was very quiet, and very well kept up, one of the better rooms we have had. The ship is very new so things are in good shape. The room service was very good, everything we wanted was supplied. Tip, don't drink the water or use the ice that is brought in every day, we probably got sick from it. Water is very expensive to buy on the ship about $3 a bottle in the room. We went to Helsinki and finally got a gallon for about $1 and used it the rest of the cruise. TV is terrible, only about one station in English and it was boring. Getting off the ship was ridiculous, they made us wait 2 hours and told us we could be taken into Copenhagen. We waited tried to get on the bus and then were told we couldn't take any luggage. What do you think we were going to do with it? We finally took a taxi, went to Copenhagen to the train depot, rented a locker there, stored the luggage, saw Copenhagen, went back, got the luggage and took the train to the airport. Very easy to get to the airport by train. Skip Costa's expensive transport. Bottom line, this cruise is not for first time cruisers, nor for inexperienced travelers. We looked at the cruise as a floating hotel with bad food. We saw what we wanted to see. We will cruise again, but never Costa. Read Less
Sail Date June 2007
My husband and I flew from New Orleans.We stayed for 1 night at the Comfort Inn Air/Cruise Ports and we were very happy with the free shuttle service.  We were impressed with Costa's quick and easy check in service and went right up ... Read More
My husband and I flew from New Orleans.We stayed for 1 night at the Comfort Inn Air/Cruise Ports and we were very happy with the free shuttle service.  We were impressed with Costa's quick and easy check in service and went right up to the buffet for lunch.  The buffet was satisfactory,but limited in choices.  We had plenty of time to explore the ship before sailing and I must say it is a beautiful ship with marble floors and many works of art.  We booked the cheapest cabin,but it was very nice.  Larger than the cabins on Royal Caribbean and identical to the cabin we had on Carnival Conquest(4A).  The mandatory drill was long since the announcement had to be made in several languages.  There were many Europeans on board and they weren't as courteous as the North Americans and the Brits.The Italian crew was very nice and I enjoyed the socializing with the entertainment crew.  This was a very sedate cruise,however.Bring a book and a deck of cards.The shows were very amateurish-actually pathetic. As for the food,steaks were usually good,desserts were mediocre,pastas were usually undercooked and seafood dishes would sometimes have squid and octopus in them.Food is not available 24 hours a day like Carnival so check the schedule or you may go hungry for awhile.My favorite part of the ship is the gym which is very well equipped. Another favorite was having espresso deliver to my cabin every morning free of charge. Our first stop was in Nassau and the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island is a quick hop over by water taxi.It's an impressive resort with a casino and Aquarium.Then we went to Bermuda where we were met by the first tropical storm of the season.The ship must have great stabilizers because it hardly rocked.So we docked a day late and amazingly they still did the Dolphin Encounter in the rain and cold-I wouldn't recommend it even in good weather.It was in the Maritime Museum which had an ugly depressing wall around it.After several days at sea,we arrived at the Azores.We hired a taxi and for 100euros he took us all over the island.We had the best adventure of our trip at a fraction of what the ship was charging.By the way,the ship also charges in euros-in the casino,in the shops,for the excursions,for drinks and per diem tips.A few more days at sea and we reached Le Harve.I took the excursion to the Louvre Museum with lunch on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower-156 euros-expensive,but worth it.It's Paris!My husband took the Normandy excursion-115 euros-he loved it.Don't miss your shuttle bus or they will leave you to find your way back.We left a family in Paris because they were late.Although the ship went to Copenhagen,we wanted to spend more time in England,so we disembarked in Dover.We tried to exchange currency before leaving the ship,but the ships bank was closed and they scheduled our disembarkment before it opened. No problem going through British Customs and we found a place to exchange currency at the port.Took a taxi to Dover Priority train station,6pounds.Bought tickets to London Victoria Station,15.90 pounds each And about a 2 hour ride.It came as a surprise to me that I'd have to pay to use the restroom at Victoria Station-20 pence.I bought a travelcard in London which gave us unlimited use of the bus,subway,&trains in London.We stayed at a nice B&B called the Grange for 65 pounds a night.Nice,but a little out of the way.Everything went great on our vacation until we reached the airport when British Airways cancelled my reservation.I bought round trip ticket that cost less than one way,but since I didn't use the fist half,they cancelled the whole thing without a refund.So we had to buy another ticket which made our vacation very expensive.We'll never use British Airways again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
After reading several critiques of the Magica (particularly the food), our expectations were less than when we booked our cruise to the Baltic. I can honestly say, the Magica exceeded our expectations exceptionally. We departed Copenhagen ... Read More
After reading several critiques of the Magica (particularly the food), our expectations were less than when we booked our cruise to the Baltic. I can honestly say, the Magica exceeded our expectations exceptionally. We departed Copenhagen on Sunday, May 20 and returned on the 27th. The ports were Tallinn, Estonia which is a charming old city. The excursion to Old Town was exactly as it was represented in the pre-cruise information. Second port was St. Petersburg. Only one day was spent there and it could easily take 2 or 3 days to do this beautiful city justice. The only way a person can really see the highlights of this city is on a private excursion. The Hermitage was beautiful, but we really became tired of looking at paintings, but are sure others were pleased. Helsinki was a disappointment because the excursion we booked turned out to not be as advertised. Several people did the city on their own and I believe if we ever returned to this city, that would be our choice. Stockholm was probably the highlight for us. We took a canal cruise on our own in the morning and then a bus tour in the afternoon that went to Old Town and ended at an Ice Bar. Great and fun experience. Should be on everyone's list of things to do. Now about the food. It was outstanding. Previous reviews criticized the beef, the temperature and the service. We found no problem in any of these areas. The entire table of 8 people agreed. Everyone tipped the wait staff in addition to the daily amount that the ship charged. Our cabin steward was also outstanding, and every staff member on the ship was friendly and always greeted us with a smile. Because if information found on the Cruise Critic website, we purchased the X-1 card, which covers wine, beer and water during dining hours (lunch & dinner), but we found that the bar people treated us like second class citizens when they saw this noted on our room cards. They always had discussions among themselves as to which wine they were supposed to serve us and even what kind of glass to put it in. It is a good purchase, but has to be done prior to sailing. Just be aware of how you will be treated before you purchase it. The only complaint we would have would be the bedding. Since Costa is now owned by Carnival, we would have expected the same luxurious bedding and beds as on the Carnival fleet - but there is no comparison. The mattresses were 4 inch pads of foam rubber and the pillows very thin. The blanket was a thin sheet of felt like material. Costa could improve in this area greatly and hopefully will in the near future. We did not attend any of the entertainment, but feedback from our tablemates was that it was a waste of time. We enjoyed meeting our tablemates after dinner each night in one of the lounges for drinks and visiting. English speaking people were in the minority (200 out of 2700), but all staff members were able to communicate with us and the excursions accommodated us very well. All in all, we were extremely pleased with this cruise, the ship, the ports and staff members. Would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have if they are considering this trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
My husband and I sailed, along with friends, the Costa Magica transatlantic May 4-20, Ft. Lauderdale-Copenhagen. Before I start the review, I want to make clear that we definitely got our dollars worth since this was an extremely ... Read More
My husband and I sailed, along with friends, the Costa Magica transatlantic May 4-20, Ft. Lauderdale-Copenhagen. Before I start the review, I want to make clear that we definitely got our dollars worth since this was an extremely inexpensive cruise, including airfare at $1400 pp. We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale. We have been through that port several times, as usual the embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship very quickly. My first clue that we were in for an 'interesting' voyage: as soon as we got through the door, I asked one of the staff a question, got a blank stare. Didn't understand me. Oh boy. Got to our cabin, we had an inside on the lowest deck, which was fine, it was sufficient. I must say our steward was excellent. First night out we were pretty tired as we had flown to Ft. Lauderdale from LAX and it was just a long day. The first couple days were non eventful. Nassau was fine, been there, done that. We had a sea day and a half to arrive in Bermuda, we were supposed to dock at 6 p.m. Weather was rough and our ship could not get into the port safely, so I guess we bobbed along out there all night. Next morning we were able to dock,we had a very nice day touring Hamilton and the beaches, on our own. We took the city bus all day for $5, what a deal. I highly recommend it. The next few days is when it gets really interesting. We knew that every announcement would be made in no less than 5 languages, but no matter what you think...it gets really, really annoying. We like to do trivia on sea days, I gave up after the 2nd day...the cruise staff conducting the trivia could not pronounce the words. They couldn't spell the words. We didn't know what we were supposed to be trivia-ing about. And when they asked the trivia question, it was also in 5 languages. Most activities were very unorganized at the least. I kept wondering why there was always a long line at the purser's desk, day and night. I later figured it out. Our first issue happened a week into the trip. We, and our friends, got notices in our room to come to the shore excursion desk regarding the excursion we had booked in Copenhagen before we flew back to the states. My girlfriend had RUN to the desk when she boarded the first day to sign us up as the Costa website was impossible to navigate. Anyway, seems the staff had decided to only offer our excursion in Italian ONLY. Mind you, we had been signed up for a week already and now they are telling us this? We asked if more Americans, or english speaking passengers signed up for this particular excursion in the next few days, would they offer it in English. No, only Italian. We could go on the Italian bus, uh duh. No. I was pretty ticked off at this point, and I said, why did i t take you a week to decide to eliminate the English speaking bus, sounds like discrimination to me. She just looked at me and said, 'Well, this is an Italian ship. Well, my Euro is as green as their Euro. There was another excursion that was similar that we could sign up for, but it was more money. We suggested that they give us that excursion for the same price as the one we had originally signed up for. Nope, couldn't do that. Ok, so we just signed up for it because we really needed an excursion that would get us to the airport. Mind you again, language problems here. Long story short, over the next week there was a major screwup with our tickets our friends got theirs, we got one at a much lower price, and then didn't get a second one for us. The staff was basically just rude to us and 'oh well'. We got fed up toward the end of the 2nd week so we wrote a note to the Captain asking to meet with him at his convenience. Well, the last day of the cruise we did just that. The Hotel Director escorted us to his quarters. The Captain was truly annoyed and I am sure that Hotel Director's goose was cooked as this really should have been handled at his level. Well, the Captain agreed with us on this issue of cost and told the Director to fix it. This price issue did not get fixed until we were out of our cabins to disembark and my husband had to hunt down the shore excursion people as we were still short a ticket. We finally got the missing ticket, but none of this should have even happened. Most evenings there were activities...one night was 'Carnivale'. What a mess. In one area, there were 3 cruise staffers making venetian masks. Taking a plain white mask, drizzling glue on it, then glitter. Not a big deal. You would have thought they were giving out money. Oh my, I have never seen so much shoving and pushing and rudeness ever. Where the staff messed up was they should have had a roped off line, one at a time. One woman got so upset with one of the staffer, for no reason that I could figure out, the poor girl started crying. Oh come on, its a cruise. My friend and I gave up. It wasn't a big deal for us, but give something away and true bullying comes out. The evening before we got to Dover, England we were having dinner and a couple at the table next to us came in to dinner. The man was extremely upset, so we asked him what happened. He had just come from the pursers desk. Seems that a couple from England they had met on board asked them that day if they had received their invitation to the farewell Captain's private gala for passengers disembarking in Dover. Well, no so our friend went to the pursers desk and they told him that the gala was for 'all passengers except Americans'. I am not kidding. He said he told them that he wasn't American, he was Canadian, but what would it matter if they were American? No answer. This confirmed to us that there was truly discrimination against Americans. I expected that in our ports in Europe, but not on the ship. Shopping on board was poor. Not that I cruise to shop, but it was really bad. They sold amber jewelry almost everyday outside one of the shops, expensive. No sales on anything, very small sundries area to buy aspirin, etc. I was glad I had brought all that stuff myself because I wouldn't have found it there. Adding insult to us, they had part of one shop 'closed' off. The windows were wide open, not papered over or anything so you could see in the closed off section. The whole last week they were setting up that part of the shop for the Baltic cruises after ours. There were some lovely things in there, so my friend asked the manager if they were going to open that shop to us during the cruise and she was told that another manager was getting on board in Paris, then they would open it. Well, it never opened. I know it's not a big deal, just say no, it's not going to open , not for this cruise. End of discussion. And they really should have papered over those windows, we weren't the only ones looking in there longingly.. Unfortunately, two days before the end, I got quite sick. I went to the ship dr. the day before we got to Copenhagen, he was Italian, and of course, could not speak English. What else is new. So somehow I managed to tell him what was wrong..I walked out of there with 3 days worth of antibiotics, amoxicillin, and generic cough syrup. That will be $44 Euros, ma'am (approx $60 usd). I got back to the cabin and looked at those pills. I am allergic to penicillin and told him so. My husband took the pills down there and they said, no problem, ok to take. Uh huh, right. I'm so glad none of our party had a real emergency, that would have been really scary. I ended up going to my dr. a couple days after we got home as I wasn't much better. She could not believe they gave me those pills. She was glad I didn't have an allergic reaction. And you always give out at least a 10 day course of pills. Disembarkation in Copenhagen. Well, that was a fine mess. As everyone needed to be out of their cabins by 8 a.m. we went to the main theatre with our hand carry luggage to wait. It got crazy. One of our cruise critic members had been on board with her 9 year old son, who is probably the most mature and polite 9 year old I have ever met. In the theatre that morning, all of a sudden we hear this ruckus...As our friend and her son were coming into the theatre, this woman and her husband literally shoved our friend out of the way, when our friend complained to them about it, the husband came back and punched her. No kidding. Security was standing right there, did nothing. We couldn't believe it, a man hitting a mom. The ship was full of Europeans, mostly germans, and this couple was a german couple. Unfortunately, most of the Europeans we had dealing with were bossy, pushy and rude. Anyway, our friend was ok, but what the heck! We didn't buy many drinks onboard. Cocktails were more expensive than on any ship I had been on before, and sodas were expensive too. Brought our own sodas on board, so that helped. What we did love: The meals were for the most part really good. We had heard a lot of complaints before hand that they didn't know how to cook beef. Karen and I almost always had the beef if it was offered, it was tender and delicious. Lots of Pasta. Some of the main dishes were kind of weird combinations. Lots of Anchovies. Anchovy sauce, anchovies on salad, I guess if you like anchovies its ok. Not to our taste. The ports were wonderful. The Azores are absolutely beautiful, we had a wonderful excursion to Paris and also to London. Copenhagen was nice, what we saw of it. We never did see the Little Mermaid statue that was supposed to be on our tour so we were disappointed. All in all a good value for the money. I don't think we would cruise with Costa again, but if a great deal pops up,who knows. Oh one last thing. No toga party. Everyone in our cruise critic group had brought fabrics, etc...to create togas. We were told there would be a toga party. I think most of our group was disappointed. My husband wasn't very happy to have to haul that stuff home. Well, the fabric will make great kitchen curtains, I guess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Costa Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen on the Costa Magica from May 4, 2007 to May20, 2007 My wife and I booked the cruise because the price was unbelievable and we had never been to Copenhagen.  We immediately notified all of ... Read More
Costa Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen on the Costa Magica from May 4, 2007 to May20, 2007 My wife and I booked the cruise because the price was unbelievable and we had never been to Copenhagen.  We immediately notified all of our cruising buddies and had a party of six booked on the cruise in minutes. Since two of our cruising buddies lived near us in Tampa, Fl., I rented a minivan to drive us from Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale to board the ship. The drive took about four hours and the embarkation at 1:00 pm went flawlessly. Our cabin (9239) was ready and we unpacked our carry-on luggage before heading for the Bellagio restaurant that turned out to be just a few yards from the cabin. The food was plentiful and very good and there were enough serving lines that there was no waiting. After lunch, my wife and I took a tour of the ship. At 105,000 toms, she was the largest ship we had cruised on and one of the nicest. All the cabins were full and with a few children on board we had about 2770 passengers traveling with us. The fitness gym, complete with Jacuzzi, a small pool, sauna, and every piece of equipment you could think was just three decks up from our cabin. The spacious theater was six decks down and three swimming pools were just steps away on either side of the Bellagio dining room. We had early seating (6:00 pm) in the Smeralda restaurant that was on deck three at the aft end of the ship. It took a little walking to get to but we could use the exercise before and after dinner. The ship had just about everything one could want on a cruise. The only complaint we had was that there was no washer and dryer except the expensive ship laundry so we did a little washing in our bathroom that was really nothing new to us. The ship was spotless and almost identical to the Carnival Destiny and Carnival Liberty. It looked like it was going to be a wonderful cruise until the afternoon lifeboat drill. We turned out for the drill and then it hit us in the face like a chilling north wind off the North Atlantic; the drill instructions were given in five languages. While English was the language of choice for the largest group of passengers (over 1000 of the 2770 passengers), there was a significant number of Germans (about 800) and Italians and 28 other nationalities many of them speaking French and Spanish. Little did we realize how annoying this was going to be. If you are use to cruising on ships that cater to Americans, don't cruise Costa. It is definitely Italian. We sailed for Nassau at 9:30 pm. We found that there were a number of music venues and they were all very good and you could usually find a nice place for dancing after dinner. We preferred the Capri with the Night Out Band for dancing and the Spoleto Lounge for easy listening. However, beware of Paolo in the Capri lounge. When he takes over for the Night Out Band, people vacate the lounge and for good reason. He plays the piano and does a good job but when he opens his mouth to sing, it's time to leave. Costa needs to replace him. The next day we arrived at Nassau. Since everybody in our group had visited Nassau before, we just took the water Taxi to the Atlantis hotel. If we had known that the taxi was not leaving until they were full, we could have avoided 30 minutes in the heat by taking a smaller boat. After a few hours at Atlantis we headed back to the ship for a late lunch and a rest before dinner and a show. Formal dining on the Costa takes two hours and can become a little tedious. Our waiters were great and the headwaiter was more visible and friendly than on any cruise we had taken. The food was good but had a sameness about it that made it boring by the end of the cruise. The menu writer had obviously never seen the food that was actually being served or the chef had not read the description of the food on the menu. If you really got what was stated in the menu, it was pure luck. I had fruit cocktail for starter each evening and while the menu advertised the fruit salad as "exotic, tropical, Caribbean etc.," it was always just pieces of various melons. And the Italian idea of a sundae is not what Americans are acquainted with. Of course, there was pasta available every night. Overall, the people at our table rated the food as below average from their experiences on other cruise lines. After dinner we headed for the Urbino Theater to see Van Pressley Jr. from the legendary Platters. He sang all the old tunes and did it very well. It would have been nice if Costa could have afforded all of the Platters but Mr. Pressley a good performer and sang in English. If the following shows had been as good as the opening one the total entertainment experience would have been outstanding. However, such was not the case. In my opinion Costa took six good shows for a seven-day cruise and supplemented them with mediocre shows to cover the 16-day transatlantic cruise we were on. The two production shows, Magic Moments and Cinemagique were as good as any I have seen in over thirty cruises in the last seven years. The Myth trio in "Circus of the Seas" reminded me of a miniature version of the Cirque Du Soleil and done on a moving ship. John Ciotta, an Italian-American from New York put on an outstanding show. He sang a variety of songs in English and Italian and the crowd responded with a standing ovation. He did for an encore of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and I am sure that Frank would say "well done". The "Grand Variety Show" with Allison Mc Areavey and Ian Fraser and the Costa Magica Dancers was good but not up to the standards they set on their two big production numbers. The other shows were weak. Price and McCoy and Vincenzo Silvestris were probably the best of the fill-in shows. Allison Mc Areavey, the lead female singer in the production shows was not strong enough to do her own full show. From what I saw, I think that Ian Frazer may have been a better choice for a full show. The bubble art show was a good children's show but there were few children on the ship. Maria Grazia was a so-so singer and her straw-like hair detracted from her singing. The Duo Badi should have stayed in the Piano Bar. The only good thing I can say about the "Fantasy Sorin Show" was that the lead in by the Magica singers and dancers was the best part of the show. Probably the best of the fill-in shows was the Costa Magica Crew Show that was promoted to prime time. For amateurs they were outstanding. There was no comedian on board and probably for good reason. Comedy in five languages would probably not translate well. The cruise director announced all the shows in five languages which got boring after awhile. On-board activities were plentiful and well attended. There seem to be something going on all the time. The most attended activity seem to be sun bathing and on the sunny days, it was hard to find an empty lounge. The only complaint I heard was that there were not enough bridge tables. It seemed that the eight tables could not handle the number of bridge players on board. This has not been the case on other cruises when tables usually outnumber the players. The fitness center was packed in the morning but seem to clear out by about 10:00 am. There were plenty of special events and were attended well. There was limbo, line dancing, ice sculpture, karaoke, hat making, and bocce ball for those so inclined. There was a nice casino but the gambling devices were in Euros and you lose three percent off the top because you must change your dollars into euros before you even try the machines. We chose not to gamble. The shops on board had the same problem. We found as we travel that prices seem to stay the same as the currency changes. What cost 10 dollars on some cruise lines cost 10 euros on Costa and 10 pound in England. The Art auction had the same problem. All the bidding was done in Euros so the prices paid for art carried a 35% premium over other art auctions we had attended. Needless to say we purchased no art on this cruise. Since we had visited all of the places that the cruise ship stopped except Copenhagen, the only shore excursion we purchased was in Copenhagen. However, our traveling companions did do the Normandy excursion from Le Havre and gave it high praise. It was unfortunate that the Magica could not dock as scheduled in Bermuda because of high winds but we did have a few hours ashore the next day. We landed in the Azores on a Sunday and the shops were closed. However they had a festival in Ponta Delgada and they had a four-mile bed of flowers that was very beautiful. The shops in Le Havre were also closed when we stopped there so we walked around the city for a few hours and enjoyed meeting some of the local residents. Several hundred passengers toured Paris from Le Havre and London from Dover and had nothing but good things to say about the excursions. We toured the white cliffs of Dover and aside from being blown by high winds, we enjoyed the tour. It was rumored that a couple of people were lost in Paris and missed the bus back to the ship. While I cannot confirm the rumor we did sight a police car rushing with lights flashing up to the ship about thirty minutes after our scheduled departure time. We departed shortly thereafter so the rumors might be true. The debarkation in Copenhagen was a disaster. We were asked to leave our cabins at 8:00 am although debarkation was scheduled to start at 9:00 am so it meant that 2770 people and their hand luggage were crowded into the public places for over an hour because debarkation never starts on time. Around 9:30 am debarkation started. We marched down the stairs to the warehouse where some people picked up their checked luggage and proceeded to the exit only to find that the busses were not yet there. There was a marathon being run in Copenhagen and because of street closures the busses were late. The warehouse was full of people milling around and as luck would have it, the busses for the people at the back of the pack arrived first. It was about an hour before our bus arrived and it cut our tour short by about an hour. However, since some free time for shopping was built into the tour, we did not miss any of the sights of Copenhagen. Our tour guide was great and we enjoyed the sights of Copenhagen. We even had time for lunch at McDonalds before rejoining the tour group for the ride to the airport. We had no problems getting on our British Airways flight to London to visit our English friends for a few days before flying home to Tampa. Some of the complaints I heard on board the Magica were really trivial. Several people complained about the lack of chocolate candy on their pillow each night. Costa only gives you pillow candy on "formal nights." The biggest complaint from Americans, other than the time wasted by giving announcements in five languages, was really a clash of cultures. While the English, Canadians, and Americans are willing to get into line at the buffet or before the doors open for the shows, the Germans and Italians seem to push their way into the buffet line at whatever point they find the food to their liking. They also seem to push past people exiting the theater to get seats while those in line wait patiently for people to exit the theater before looking for seats. All in all, the cruise was a great value for the money spent. However, my first cruise on Costa will probably be my last. Unless, however, they are going somewhere I want to go and the price is right! Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Costa Magica Bermuda/Bahamas Cruise April 15th , 2007 - April 22nd, 2007 Background Information: My wife and I are in our early to mid thirties. Our first cruise together was on the Ocean Princess for our honeymoon in January of 2002. ... Read More
Costa Magica Bermuda/Bahamas Cruise April 15th , 2007 - April 22nd, 2007 Background Information: My wife and I are in our early to mid thirties. Our first cruise together was on the Ocean Princess for our honeymoon in January of 2002. After completing that cruise it is safe to say that we have become addicted to cruising. Since our honeymoon we have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sail on thirteen additional cruises. The majority of our cruises have been on Princess and Royal Caribbean, but we have always wanted to try Costa. Before I get into the details of our Costa cruise I feel I must explain what we enjoy so much about cruising. The best thing about cruising is that you are not at work. Not only are you not at work, but everything you need is right at your fingertips. There's no shopping, cooking, cleaning, cell phones, pagers or appointments, just pure relaxation. Another great perk to going on a cruise is meeting new people and developing friendships that may last a lifetime. These new people may not be just fellow passengers, but may be crew members on the ship. Overall, it is my opinion that there is no vacation experience like going on a cruise. Now that I have offered some background information on myself, I will begin to discuss this cruise. This is my first review that I have written and I hope it will be both enjoyed and informative. I must say before I start, prior to going on this cruise I read countless negative reviews about the Costa Magica which quite honestly made me apprehensive about going on this cruise. My wife and I made the decision that we would take this cruise with an open mind and not try to spend the week making comparisons to other cruise ships we have sailed on. All of the bad reviews of the Costa Magica is what has motivated me to submit my opinion. My wife and I live about twenty minutes from Port Everglades so it is a simple car ride to get to the port. We arrived at the port at approximately 11:45am. By 12:15pm we were at the Bellagio buffet eating lunch. Our quick embarkation procedure may have been quicker than others due to having a suite which comes with priority embarkation. Upon stepping on board the ship, you are escorted to the buffet and told that your cabin will be ready shortly. By 1:00pm we were in our cabin. Stateroom: We booked this cruise as a mini-suite guarantee and were lucky enough to be upgraded to a full suite........what a nice surprise. The cabin was amazing. The cabin had both wood flooring at the entrance and carpeting in the main areas. The bathroom was huge, a double sink, Jacuzzi tub and granite throughout. There was also a separate area which included a desk which my wife enjoyed for doing her hair and putting on her makeup. There was tons of storage space to include several drawers and closets that you could practically walk inside. Now for the perks of being in a suite: we had our own butler who would make any arrangements that we needed, everyday we received the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in our cabin and had the option of dining in our cabin, a pillow menu with about six different pillows to choose from and fresh fruit and snacks delivered daily. Needless to say it is going to be tough sailing in a regular cabin again. The Ship: The ship is absolutely beautiful. I must say this ship is very different from the Princess and Royal Caribbean ships we are used to sailing on. The ship has lots of paintings and murals and is very colorful. I don't want to spend a lot of time discussing the details of the ship because I believe there are already plenty of sources to obtain that information from. Dining: This is where there seems to be a lot of negativity when it comes to this ship. The food is good, it is not great, but it is definitely not terrible as it has been described. The food is definitely not as good as Princess or Royal Caribbean, but like I said it is far from being bad. The only bad meal I had was the rib eye steak, it was terrible. Other than that all of the food in the dining room was delicious. My wife and I had second seating in the Smeralda dining room. I read in a review that this dining room is much nicer than the Portofino and I agree. We found the food in the buffet and at the grill to also be quite good. Service: This is an area that also received a lot of negativity in some reviews. We had top notch service from everybody we encountered. I don't think we walked past a single employee that didn't greet us with a hello and friendly smile. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent. In my opinion, the service on this ship is on par with Princess and RCCL. In particular, the 2nd Maitre D Francesco (who is a former Princess employee) went out of his way to have meals not even offered on the menu bought to our table. He was outstanding. Our cabin steward was excellent, our room was spotless all the time and the funny thing is we hardly ever saw her. Entertainment: Having the second seating was a little inconvenient in this department. The shows for the second seating were before dinner instead of after. The only nights that the shows were after the second seating was on the formal nights. The two shows we saw were excellent. The first was Circus on the Sea, it was outstanding. The second was a Broadway style show featuring the ships singers and dancers, this was also excellent. Max and his entire staff are excellent and seem like they never sleep. There was always some sort of fun activity to attend on this ship. The don't misses............Mediterranean Night, Mr. Pizza contest, the Midnight Buffet Magnifique(which includes a tour of the galley) and the absolute don't miss of the cruise.......TOGA NIGHT!!!!! Excursions: We did not take any of the ship's excursions. For those going to Bermuda I suggest getting off the ship and immediately buying a public transportation pass. This pass entitles you to unlimited use of the island's public buses and ferries. This is a great way to see the entire island at your own pace. The pass costs $12 per day for adults. Bermuda is extremely clean and all of the people you will encounter are very nice and more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Disembarkation: We were one of the last one's off the ship and that is the way we like it. We soaked up every last second of our cruise on the Magica until finally they made us get off. Once off the ship going through customs was a breeze and unfortunately we were home in no time. Summary: One thing I forgot was to mention the bad weather we had on this cruise. I must mention that some people's reviews of this cruise may be influenced by the fact we only had one day in Bermuda and this may cause some people to give this cruise an overall unjustified bad rating. It never ceases to amaze me that some people must think that the captain should be able to control the weather.........bottom line is, if the port is closed due to high wind and seas there is nothing that can be done about that. Overall this cruise was excellent and we can't wait to sail on Costa again........hopefully soon!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
This is the first review that I have ever written even though I have been on 48 cruises (Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, etc.)in the past 24 years. My husband and I are both experienced cruisers and are in our late 50s but ... Read More
This is the first review that I have ever written even though I have been on 48 cruises (Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, etc.)in the past 24 years. My husband and I are both experienced cruisers and are in our late 50s but very young at heart. I felt compelled to write this review because of some of the negative things I have read about the Costa Magica at this web site prior to boarding the ship. First of all, let me say that this was one of the most enjoyable cruises that we have ever taken, probably the BEST! The ship was one of the most beautiful that we have ever been on and very clean, clean, clean! There was marble and granite everywhere. We booked an inside cabin on Deck 1 and it happened to be a great location for us. The cabin had plenty of room for all our clothing and even the bathroom had quite a roomy vanity top. It was not a huge cabin but it served our needs nicely without feeling cramped as we have on other newer ships. The activities were abundant and the staff was the most energetic group of young people that I have ever met. I never even had time to crack open a book or a magazine since we were so busy having fun. They did many of the same things done on other cruise lines but they also did more. I guess that's what CRUISING ITALIAN STYLE is all about. They had several theme nights (TROPICAL DECK PARTY, ITALIAN NIGHT, MEDITERRANEAN NIGHT, and do not miss the ROMAN TOGA NIGHT!) I took over 300 photos (also a rarity for me) but wanted to share our experience with friends and family. FOOD: We found the food on the buffet to be very good. There might have been more variety on some other lines but there was plenty to choose from. I loved that they always had salad and fruit and my husband loved the ice cream machines. The food in the main dining room was also very good. I ordered fish every evening and one was better than the other. The bread and rolls were the very best and every pasta dish that we ordered was excellent. ENTERTAINMENT: The two main production shows were very well done. Also, the singers they had on two of the nights were excellent and really got the audience to participate. They also had a very original act called THE MYTH TRIO from South Africa. . .not to be missed. But, I must say, some of the greatest entertainment was provided by the staff on the theme nights. It would take too long to go into detail here and you will just have to experience it. PORTS: SAN JUAN-We did not get off the ship here since we have been here many times before. ST. THOMAS-We did get off the ship and did some local shopping right at the dock. Always a great place to shop. LA ROMANA-We did take a van ($4.00 round trip each) into the town. The best bargain of the cruise was the Internet Cafe in La Romana -$1.00 for a half hour of access!! It seems to be a very poor island and they seemed desperate to sell their goods at an area called Central Park. GRAND TURK-This was our favorite stop on any cruise we have ever been on. We were the only ship in port and the shopping and a lovely beach were right there as soon as you got off the ship. There were tons of deck chairs and cabanas on the beach for the use of the cruise passengers. There was also a MARGARITAVILLE which had a huge pool and a DJ to entertain. I think everyone had a great time on GRAND TURK. DISEMBARKATION: It was a breeze getting off the ship. It went very smoothly for us. We would not hesitate to sail with COSTA again and can't wait to book our next cruise with them. You haven't cruised until you CRUISE ITALIAN STYLE! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
our group... 2 adults and 3 kids (16,16 and 11) costa magica embarkation. Smooth as it can be during spring break. No problems. I was afraid of "the crowds" before we went (ship was fully booked) but was never overwhelmed by too ... Read More
our group... 2 adults and 3 kids (16,16 and 11) costa magica embarkation. Smooth as it can be during spring break. No problems. I was afraid of "the crowds" before we went (ship was fully booked) but was never overwhelmed by too many people being in line or so. Lounge chairs on deck. Yes we "reserved" them too by putting our stuff on them, but if you don't mind sitting on the quieter top decks there were always enough lounge chairs. Anyway...back to the beginning. Our luggage arrived 2/3 hours after we boarded the ship. We ordered extra mattress pads in advance and they were not there but our cabin steward had them in our room that same night. He (raffi) was great the rest of the week. Cabin was clean and roomy enough. We went to the buffet while waiting for our luggage and did the munster drill and walked around the ship to get familiar with things and watched leaving the port. Our roomkeys/passes were in the room when we first arrived. We signed up for the x1 card in advance and saved ourselves a lot of money that way. You can order soda's and beer, wine etc. during lunch and dinnertime in the restaurants and buffet room. If you're very picky with wine and beer brands then don't do this. It will give you Carlsberg beer and a decent red wine and white wine, nothing special. Although I have to say that the 2nd evening we got a different bottle of red wine and this was very good, I asked for this wine the rest of the cruise. Our older teens drank wine too even though not really allowed. They made no problem out of this and we could order as much wine as we wanted. Food. Food was good and plenty. Keep in mind that it's not a $3000 cruise. If you do this you will be very happy with what they serve. Good breakfast buffet, every day a different themed lunch buffet and every night nice dinners. All afternoon there is a good hamburger/fries/sandwich grill open and pizza is available all day. The same for fruit, icecream, icetea. Also there are sometimes other good sandwiches offered. we also bought soda passes for our 3 kids, because we didn't realize that we could order soda's for them on our x1 passes and that there was icetea and water available all day. We had to order a lot of drinks (soda's and frozen virgin drinks) the last couple of days to use them up. one 20 drinks soda pass would have been enough. Entertainment. it was ok, some nights better then other. Again I keep in mind that we paid $700 per person and was happy that everynight there was something to do for all. Ever night there was also a different theme, tropical night, Mediterranean night, Italian night. etc. There was a disco. Our 16 (thinking they are 20) year old boys LOVED it. The age group in the disco was from 16 to 50 and all seem to have a great time. Italian night was the most fun in the restaurant, dancing waiters and passengers. FUN! Toga night was not great, we all dressed up expecting to dance again during dinner but nothing happened. It was just dressing in a toga, no further "action" oh well the boys thought it was great fun to walk around in a toga all night. Ports. We liked them all (except maybe La Romana). San Juan. Short. We did the bioluminescent tour which the kids enjoyed. St. Thomas. We rented a jeep and drove around the island. If your brave enough to drive on the left side then this is the cheapest way to see the island. We drove for about an hour and then went to Sapphire beach where we snorkeled and enjoyed the beach. La Romana. We didn't do anything there, maybe we should have. We walked to town but there was not a lot to see. The kids didn't even bother. I heard from some people that they enjoyed the tour to the private island and the old village(can't remember the name) Grand Turk. We LOVED it. If you don't like the beach you may not enjoy this. We didn't do a tour. We walked of the ship, got (free) beach chairs and enjoyed some "Margaritaville" entertainment. The passengers on board was a mixture of Europeans and Americans. Which for me was fun because I liked that. It gave me the feel of being in a foreign country.One of the advantages of booking an Italian cruise. So...we enjoyed this cruise very much and would feel comfortable recommending it to others. The quality you get for the money you pay is definitely a good deal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
This was our 31st cruise and 1st on Costa. We specifically took it because it's the only cruise out of South Florida to Bermuda. Embarkation was fine. Cabin was outside on deck 2 in farthest rear of ship. Cabin spacious but mattresses ... Read More
This was our 31st cruise and 1st on Costa. We specifically took it because it's the only cruise out of South Florida to Bermuda. Embarkation was fine. Cabin was outside on deck 2 in farthest rear of ship. Cabin spacious but mattresses hard - we had to ask for foam topper and got it 1st night. Vibration in that area was also very bad but we got used to it - felt like sleeping in a vibrator bed. Ship was very clean and room steward and waiters very accommodating. Food was mediocre at best. Can honestly say that we did not have one really good meal the entire week. Quality of meats was poor - beef and veal mainly being of very poor quality. Entertainment also very mediocre - mostly review type - no comedians, magicians, jugglers, etc. Most announcements made in Italian, German and English which got annoying after awhile. We did not take any excursions - did our own in both Bermuda and Nassau. Bermuda was beautiful and made the trip worthwhile as was the weather and seas. As for the Magica and other Costa cruises from talking with others on the ship, I would not recommend them. There are too many other good lines to go with at comparable prices. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Couldn't wait to try the Costa Cruise line. This cruise was our 5th. Positives: Ship was very clean and Grand Suite was spacious. Both our Butler, Emil and room stewardess El were great, friendly and very accommodating. Costa took ... Read More
Couldn't wait to try the Costa Cruise line. This cruise was our 5th. Positives: Ship was very clean and Grand Suite was spacious. Both our Butler, Emil and room stewardess El were great, friendly and very accommodating. Costa took pristine care of their ship the Magica. Major problems: Luggage handling was atrocious. We were on the 7th floor and for 4 hours could not use the stairs or the elevators. They stacked luggage sky high and close to exit access. This could have been a serious "hazard violation". Some of the people we were traveling with, their luggage went to another floor, even though it was properly labeled. Because we paid extra to stay in the Grand Suite, we had been invited to a special captains cocktail party. That was the worst we've been too. The Captain seemed cold and impersonal as he greeted each individual in line (approximately 30 people). He didn't even look at you; he pulled your hand along through the line. How demeaning! How Rude - Costa should pay attention to this. This ship was not properly equipped to support some of the older handicapped folks with walkers and wheelchairs. Costa should seriously consider doing more for the handicapped type people. This slowed down some of the other passengers who were not at this stage yet. Had I known this cruise was for older seasoned passengers, I would not have booked this cruise. Negatives: The ship was understaffed. Our two waiters hustled many tables and every night worked up a sweat (hope it didn't drop in my food) Bar service in the restaurant was terribly slow. Food service was slow and served luke warm. Costa wasted their budget nightly on serving rolls that were like bricks - not appetizing and "old". Casino checkout had only one window open. Service in Casino was very slow, again very short staffed. Food was very poor in quality. Some of the restaurant (Smeralda) staff were not friendly - especially 2 of the maitre d's at first seating - very rude and gave you the impression they didn't really want to be there and could care less about you. Getting off and back on ship - was very disorganized, especially the return because only one check-in was open and lines were several hundred people deep. No maps of the ship layout were available. Hardly any clocks aboard ship especially for time zone changes. Three nights while being docked in Bermuda and Nassau, no water from 1:00am to 6:00am. Conflicting information - at customer service desk - staff were not friendly, language barrier was so bad, most of staff didn't either understand you or gave you incorrect information. Three times we were locked out of our room. Cards stopped working. There are no house phones easily accessible on the floors. Even some of the staff didn't know where they were located. Finally, there were charges for everything. I wanted to do my own laundry and couldn't, had to pay for that. No ironing services, had to pay for that, and extra charges (3%) on anything you charged to your room. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
My wife and I have enjoyed about 7 cruises with various cruise lines. We wanted to see Bermuda and felt that a cruise would give the benefit of enjoying 'cruise life' and keep costs down, hearing that Bermuda can be expensive ... Read More
My wife and I have enjoyed about 7 cruises with various cruise lines. We wanted to see Bermuda and felt that a cruise would give the benefit of enjoying 'cruise life' and keep costs down, hearing that Bermuda can be expensive for accommodation and restaurants. Living on the west coast of Florida made getting to Port Everglades a breeze. We arrived (with friends) around 12.30 PM and was impressed with the embarkation procedure. From curbside to check-in desk people were very courteous and helpful. We were on board in less than an hour. Information indicated our 6th level balcony stateroom would be ready after 1.00PM but were advised that we should first go to the Bellagio buffet area for lunch. Not a good plan - the line was horrendous and we found it amazing that people were so patient! My wife had prepared a couple of sandwiches for 'the journey' and we were able to have these in the comfort of deck 10 which was empty - we found iced tea and coffee on that level. After an hour we returned to the Bellagio and all was calm once again and we enjoyed our piece of cake and ice-cream. On reaching our cabin we were delighted to find that both suitcases were placed inside. The cabin was spacious and clean. After unpacking we looked around the ship and found it to be, basically, identical to the Carnival 'Valor' which we experienced in 2006. This helped with navigation. Many reviews talk about the difficulty in getting from bow to stern - remember Deck 5! For us we thought that the decor of the Costa Magica was actually a little better than the Valor. We had reserved late dinner and was given table 223 in the Smeralda restaurant. This table was at the higher level and st very back and we could feel 'prop vibration' through the decks, which was a little uncomfortable. Food - not good! Service - not good! The menu was OK but we all found the food was on the cool side (always a cruise problem) but more of a problem was that there was very little flavor. To make the situation worse was that the waiter had 'no conversation' or 'apparent character'; he gave us all the impression that he was 'just doing his job' but nothing more. specifically, the last straw was when my wife ordered "Selection of the world cheese board with crackers" and was served "a slice of 3 different, bland cheeses' with 4 x grapes". There were no 'crackers'? On requesting some crackers, which took about 5 minutes our waiter presented several cellophane wrapped salt crackers, without comment!!! Not once were we offered a second cup of coffee without our trying to get the attention of waiter and there was no sign of him being busy - there were empty tables around us and we noted more empty as the days went by? The maitre'D did introduce himself with some standard line and always asked "how was your meal?". Like most passengers we usually replied "OK". On Wednesday we were more honest saying "so-so". The response was minimal and he went off to next table. We did our best - continued to use the formal dining room up until Wednesday but after seeing no improvement in either area gave up and used the Bellagio buffet on deck 9. Food quality was basically the same but we could at least pick and choose and relax in a more informal atmosphere. For me this was however a great disappointment as I do usually enjoy cruise evening meals and the friendly banter with the restaurant staff. We found the same unfriendly problem with other members of the crew. If you were in line for example and a crew member moved in to clean or something there was no 'excuse me' or if you met going in different direction, no tendency for them to move to the side-quite strange. Even officer's had similar habits with non of the usual smile's and greetings. Entertainment was OK, not great, but OK. Felt there were to many corner bars with music every evening. Diluted the patronage so only a few people in each area? Piano Bar was unlike anything experienced before. Usually a center of joviality, with a crowd singing requested tunes along with the pianist - on the "Costa Magica" simply a pianist doing his thing with electronic background and occasionally a violinist. We read a lot about the "Toga Night". Certainly a fun idea and we got into the spirit. Basically a passenger talent show in the main theatre. We had some talented fellow passengers. If there was a problem it was that only about 30-40% 0f passengers wore a Toga. Suggestion - reserve the best seats in the theatre for Toga wearers ONLY. a) they deserve it b) it would motivate people to get involved and c) it would make the event more spectacular with a whole area of white Toga's and the wearers hooting their appreciation of acts (or otherwise!). The main deck entertainment looked good. Fun games and dance lessons and the crew organizing seemed excellent at their jobs. It was also nice not to have deck waiters 'pushing drinks of the day' in your face every few minutes. Likewise not so many of those photographers around constantly! We did not use the sips excursions. The daily ferry/bus ticket in Bermuda worked quite well although the ferry line was very long first day and bus journey's can be uncomfortable (crowded). Visited Hamilton but really just 'another town' and as shopping has no real value, better to visit St. George and south coast beaches (wonderful day at Horseshoe Bay beach). We were blessed with great weather, great sailing and all in all we enjoyed ourselves - disembarkation was again the best and most efficient we have ever experienced. As we wrote in the final 'comment card'. It would be an excellent plan to have the "Costa Magica" crew exchange places with the "Carnival Valor" crew for 3 months. Just a matter of training and motivation - we did cancel the daily gratuity payment on this cruise, preferring to tip the cabin staff directly - they did a good job. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
This was our 28th cruise. We usually cruise with Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The best parts of the cruise that went really smoothly were embarkation and debarkation! I wish it was like that on all cruises. Although it seems ... Read More
This was our 28th cruise. We usually cruise with Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The best parts of the cruise that went really smoothly were embarkation and debarkation! I wish it was like that on all cruises. Although it seems that in Ft Lauderdale they have things better organized. On this cruise we wound up getting bowls of soft ice cream every night, going back to our cabin and watching TV. We really felt sorry for the help on the ship, I spoke with our cabin steward and he told me how a few years ago they started cutting back on help, and giving them more work to do. To give you and idea, our room steward was alone, taking care of 23 cabins! He was always running around from one end of the hallway to the other end. He said he used to have time to do the little nice things that guests like but now there was just no time. He kept our room presentable and even seemed to do a better job of it after we talked. The beds had 4 inch mattresses on a metal frame and so hard and uncomfortable, pillows were flat and hard, one per person, finally able to get 2 pillows. I picked up a pillow and my finger went thru the casing. The beds were only made with the sheets, no bed spreads. The dining room, our waiter and asst. were so slow that our table mates complained to the maitre' D, but then we found out that our waiters had 22 people/4 tables to take care of. They also had long lines to wait for the food because of the 2 different restaurants using the same kitchen at the same time. Water and iced tea was only given at beginning of meal, one night I only had 1 glass of water and nothing else. If you asked for more you would usually wait and if lucky got a refill. Food was never hot or cold, just warm for everything even the ice cream was melting. And the food, was not good, almost everyone we spoke to or over heard were saying the same things. So it just wasn't us. Or our group of friends we had made. Prime rib was a very thin slice of roast beef you would use on a sandwich. So many of the sauces, gravies and dressings were watered down, they had no flavor to them. Desserts and breads were either stale, dry, or no taste. I could go on complaining about the food but I will stop. DH called the desk to find out when they were going to clean the glass on the balcony so we could see out of it. From the salt spray on the previous cruise, everything on the balcony was covered in salt. It did not get "cleaned" until Wednesday afternoon. The reason for asking to clean the glass because the chairs on the balcony were so low you had to look thru the glass to see anything if seated. The cabins were cool and then warm, never stayed comfortable. Packed elevators of grouchy people, complaining about the ship and food, and just about everything else. . For 4 nights we had no water on the ship, they had to work on the plumbing, so no coffee or showers in the mornings, we wonder how the service people showered and washed their hands before preparing our food. Our toilet wouldn't flush at times, just gurgled, that was fun...No hand dispensers anywhere on the ship, only a towelette when we first boarded .... The shows were so crowded and we never watched a complete show, our local theater has better shows than what was offered. If you have a balcony cabin these are doors not sliders, and all day and night you heard the doors slamming and would shake the room, it was terrible. Luggage delivery to the cabins was a jumbled mess, dumped in the middle of the elevator area and a lot of people didn't get their luggage until later that first night. Neighbors said they found their luggage on another floor. The buffet was the same breakfast foods, and lunch foods, every day, nothing different. The omelet station was the only place you got a hot breakfast made fresh. DH saw a lady stick her finger into a cereal to see if it was hot or cold. They also had a pasta station for lunch, from what we heard it was leftovers from the night before. We had lunch in the dining room once, and the same problems as for dinner service. We felt so bad for our cabin steward after speaking with him, and finding out how Costa has cut staff and now that they put the tips on automatically, the help get a smaller amount and the bosses get more tips. So we tipped our steward in an envelope and had the auto tipping removed immediately. I could go on and on but will say ship looked pretty clean, and some of the staff were nice but there is a language barrier which causes even more problems. We enjoyed Bermuda, although it is expensive to live there. Also for people with walking disabilities, it is a hard place to get around in. The best thing to do for us was take the ferries and buses to get around the towns. Our weather was perfect, couldn't have asked for better. We met some really nice people but will now stick to the cruise lines we know we enjoy. If you have any questions just ask. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
After having traveled with Costa in 2003 (Costa Victoria) my kids (then 13 and 11 years old, wanted Costa again. So we did it again, this time Costa Magica. No magic here. embarkation was very smooth and fast, the keys or embarkation card ... Read More
After having traveled with Costa in 2003 (Costa Victoria) my kids (then 13 and 11 years old, wanted Costa again. So we did it again, this time Costa Magica. No magic here. embarkation was very smooth and fast, the keys or embarkation card is now given at the cabin, no original picture is taken, as is done in other ship, security is quite lacking. Upon entering the ship, the atrium is impressive. The cabins are accommodating, plenty of storage, no major luxury, the beds were hard ( I requested a mattress top which never came) and dust was everywhere. I took a wet rag and cleaned the walls,the small night tables and the dirty (fabric) headboard. The lamp shades were yellow ( discolored) and liquid stains have become part of the only design. The cabin maid was very nice, only that he cleans where people can see, I found a few items that could We had a balcony. The patio furniture wa dirty, worn and the arm rest was broken. Nonetheless it was a balcony. I booked 1 year ahead, in order to get 3 cabins next to each other, we had 3 families, and even so this was not possible, so they said. Two cabins were next to eachother the other same floor other side of ship. The two adjacent cabins were over the night club, the music did no stop until 4 am. It was impossible to sleep. The Food: There are two main restaurant, and a buffet. The food at the restaurant and the buffet is the same. Only difference is that you can pick what you want instantly and discard it if you do not like it. At the restaurant, you had to get dressed ( no shorts / jeans or sandals.) slacks shirt for gents, and dress or dressy slack for women. buffet is very casual. Italian night was a bust. No chicken marsala, or other more traditional dishes that American identify as Italian dishes. The food was mediocre, tasteless and one thing I experienced in this ship that no other had, was an attitude and staff that said it is not on the menu, I had been on many cruises, my husband only eats chocolate icecream for dessert every day, we told that to our server and only had it twice because it was on the menu. Other cruises the waiter would automatically bring the chocolate icecream for dessert and add a personal touch, by bringing a cookie or wafer or even a chocolate truffle. Here if you asked for something because the menu choices were limited you were told flat out no. In all fairness the burgen stand was good, and reliable. ALways the same. The pizza was OK. entertainment: it was dull. One show was good for a ship. that was CineMagica. A potpourri of movies theme songs. Many costume changes and good finale. Other shows were lacking. No comedy or Magic shows, that one expects on a ship. Only singing and singing and singing...Boring. In all fairness there were some activities for the young kids 3-11. They had a good time as long as there is chicken fingers and fries. The ports: first one is San Juan in Puerto Rico. The ship arrives at 5PM,leaving very little to do, other than, buying their excursIons WHICH ARE QUITE EXPENSIVE. I like to go out and meet the locals, and find a driver to take me places. I did find such a drive, he was wonderful, my only concern was again, I did not want to be out and about when night fell. Costa Magica was less than 100 nautical miles from PR, and had to slowed down to 12 nautical miles, in order to make time to get there late. Why, I wondered? We could have arrived at 12pm. St Thomas was OK. Been there 7 times already. Booked a separate tour company, called Chicago or the Real Deal, be careful of this one. We agreed on aprice for a tour, the beach and shopping and return back to boat, I specified Magens Bay, and once there was told there was abetter beach that they were taking us to. So we went and once there demanded more money, and said if I did not agree he would leave. I told this driver that I would suit and file complaint about his license and then he change the tune, any how, never let anyone intimidate you. Hold your ground. La Romana DR. Beautiful place. Friendly people, you must haggle, there are not set prices, only drawback. Beautiful beach Bayahive. Casa De Campo and Los Alto de Chavon, worth seeing. You can get a driver for $125 ( a group) for all day to go to these places. The best is the local bid the ship farewell in style. It was awesome. I felt like a movie star. Grand Turks: No trees, lots of sun, all man made place, with a very expensive duty free shop and a magaritaville. $7+ for 1 beer, and forget the pina coladas. Chicken wings for $13 ridiculous. The only tours available are from Costa, so one feels trapped. Can not get out, and the beach is not much to look at. There was algae everywhere and rocks that cut your feet. There were many lounge chairs, and some cabanas, the early birds grabbed them or claimed them by putting a towel and going into the water. So some of us were just standing. After less than an hour I went back to the ship. Toga night was good, the kids as well as the adults participated. In the past there were toga contest did not see one in the schedule this time. The concierge desk: These people are poorly trained and have no patience or fitness at all. My husband card was ** as if he was a minor so he could not charge any drinks. I personally went to the desk 3 times and was told everything is ok, try to use it no go, one night at the restaurant we ordered drinks and I did not have my card, therefore, after being there 4 nights, the barmaid, took the drinks back and said I can not give them to you your card is bad. This time my husband went down, spoke to 2 different people and was issued a new card, only to find that the minor code was never changed only the spelling was corrected. By this time he was so mad, he said he would not order any drinks. The other thing was that the cards kept getting demagnetized, and would not open the room. This department was the one that ruined the cruise the most for me. Then the credit card issue: During embarkation I gave a Discover Credit Card to charge my cabin as well as the other two. Two days into the cruise I was called and told they do not accept Discover. Luckily my hubby brought a Visa. We like to clean our wallets when going on a trip. So everything was again ok. By third day my third cabin people could not charge because they had an existing credit card, and can not add a new one. Hello, they said they did not accept Discover, Back to the desk, and this lady assured me everything was fixed. To make a long story short, no one was able to charge with the credit card only my husband, because the system only recognized him as the card barer,yet he could not charge drinks because he card was marked as a minor. And no one was smart enough to fix this. I had to leave some cash in order to be able to get a drink. Needless to say I was not able to purchase anything aboard the ship. On Friday, I went back down and again this lady told me everything is good and that the credit card issue was fixed now everyone can pay without any problem. On Sunday morning, we all get bills for the tips and the few drinks we were able to purchased on Saturday only. The bill said I had to go to cashiers office to liquidate in order to be able disembark. The line was huge. Many angry people, because they had given credit cards, and now where told they had to come up with cash. My credit card only covered my husband and not my children or myself. He bill was closed and the card could not be used for any other passengers. I was there for 1 1/2 hours to no avail. I became quite angry, and demanded to see a manager. He came 30 minutes later. He could not make the system accept the card. He asked me for cash. I had already spent on the port of calls most of my cash, I had to leave and borrow cash from people I was traveling with. And one couple I met that happens to be from my town. V I came up with the cash, and was finally leaving this boat for ever, My husband keyed in his card, then my daughter then me, and last my son, he was held to the side, and told his tipping bill was not cleared, and that he could not leave. My son is 16. He was calling me, mom, wait mom, to my surprised I said what are you doing, let's go, and the lady said he can not disembark. His bill is not paid for tips. I told the lady that I had just spent 1 1/2 hour clearing a mess, and she told me that my son had to go up because I wa already check out I could not accompany him. I showed her the paper that said everything was paid up in cash and had a seal. She kept saying not Louis my son name, on Luis, my husband name. I grabbed my son and told her, to call security if she had to, because he was leaving with me even if he had to jump the darn counter. She called the cashier manager who came down 15 minutes later, and told her again that everything was ok, and that receipt I showed was for the right person. because the Luis was fully paid with the credit card. He apologized, but the harm was more than done. Would I ever travel with Costa, not even for free. If you are traveling, know this, they dod not take discover, make sure, that from the first instance they put all the members in your party on the card, and make triple sure that the system is working, make sure your cabin does not have 214, or 220 after the first number or your will surely be on top of the night club and have non stop loud music all night, take a spray cleaner of some kind,and bring plenty of cash. In front of me there was lady who missed her plane, because her daughter account was charged $7 for something and she had to go to cashier and paid cash. luckily she had not swiped her disembark card and she was able to go with 5 year old daughter to the cashier, although the husband and son were waiting outside. I tell you it is scary. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
This is my review for the April 15th cruise on Costa to Bermuda. Embarkation went smoothly, because they now take an imprint of your credit card when you first check in. After we ate at the buffet we went to our room and we were happy to ... Read More
This is my review for the April 15th cruise on Costa to Bermuda. Embarkation went smoothly, because they now take an imprint of your credit card when you first check in. After we ate at the buffet we went to our room and we were happy to see our luggage there, We had good luck getting a good room steward, who brought us the mattress toppers, extra towels and blankets. The trouble began with an electrical problem that caused a delay in leaving. We couldn't use many of the toilets, and we were asked not to use the elevators. The weather was bad and the ship moved alot. We ended up with 5 days at sea and only one day in Bermuda. Of course that is not the captains fault. There were a lot of complaints about the food. My husband who will eat cereal for dinner, hated the food. The beef dishes were very tough. A lot of the food tasted the way you wouldn't expect it. Either rare, or not cooked enough. We were lucky we had a wonderful waiter. My experience was that the service I received was very good. Max and his group of entertainers were wonderful. Most of the passengers were Floridians, and were average age 70 yrs old. The weather caused us to be at sea 5 days out of the seven. The pools were also closed most of the time. Leaving the ship was easy and parking at pier 21 was very easy. Many passengers wrote there reviews in the Costa board star. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
I just got back from a wonderful vacation. Missing it already. We were on the Costa Magica 4/29/07 -5/04/07 We are a family daddy31, mommy30, a 7 year old girl and 5 year old boy. I got to admit that I was thinking that I made a huge ... Read More
I just got back from a wonderful vacation. Missing it already. We were on the Costa Magica 4/29/07 -5/04/07 We are a family daddy31, mommy30, a 7 year old girl and 5 year old boy. I got to admit that I was thinking that I made a huge mistake booking this cruise from some reviews I had read. But the peace comes form some of the other people and I would like to thank you all for that! You know who you are! I thought well I only paid $598.00 for the cruise so here it goes. I was so scared about the service. That I decided to take the tips off the first day and if it was really that bad and I would have to go get everything my self and clean our room. Then I would just take the tip money and get me a message when I got back home. Well, I put the tips back on the forth night before it got busy down stairs on the last day. Plus I tipped my room stewart and waiter more in cash. They were more then wonderful!!! I thought the ship was very pretty and super clean. They even gave us hand wipes every time we got back on the ship. They even did this when we got on in FL. The ship was sold out and we were thinking there would be people everywhere. I do not know where the people where. We never felt cramped at all. I would have to say that the only time that we know that it was a full ship was at the shows. The seats were full and we never got a front row seat. But we did not go to the shows no more then 30 minutes early so that is our own fault. We flew in a day early and started a day after. That was really nice to relax. We got a hotel that picked us up at the air port and had a free full breakfast (biscuits and gravy, eggs ,bacon, sausage, fruit, lots of stuff and juices and coffee and milk) There pool was nice and clean and the next day they took us to the ship. Besides that the hotel was a 2 star clean friendly and I liked that they had a huge garden of plants to talk photos with the kids (palm trees etc.) Not close to anything. But they had a restaurant not new and the one person waitress was slow. But when the food came it was hot and good and the prices were great. We got to the ship at 11:30 and got right through the line. The serves was fast and friendly and after we did the paper work we went around the corner and the "squok club" was there to greet the kids with smiles and a Squork program for the whole week Plus they gave them bobble headbands. We were off our bus and on the ship in 30 minutes. We went right to the buffet. It was good and do not miss the parmesan cheese sticks and ---- meat and the deli sandwiches which were not the deli meat but the meat slices right from a ham and turkey! I like tea and I thought there tea was good put lots of sugar in it and coffee with real cream. When we were done eating the guy that cleans the tables came right over and talked to our kids for like 5 minutes. We went to our room to see if the keys were there. There was a key in the door. It was not our shopping key just opened the door. We went in and the keys for each of us. At first we were like we are not giving our five year old a key. (But EVERY guest has to have a key to get off and on the ship every time. We had an inside room on deck 7 (7379) We had two beds put together and one of the buck beds was done. It was big for our two kids so they just slept together in the same bed. We just only had one buck down and never used the other. So do not know how crowded it would be if you had both bucks down in the room. Our room stewart (Norman) came in with a clip board and asked what we would like for him to do. We asked that he not put the other bunk down, get a mattress topper ( thank you Joe for the heads up) two extra pillows, take everything out of the small refrigerator, get this small table out and my 7 year old asked if he could make a towel animal for her because Costa does not do that. He told my daughter not tonight he was going to be very busy but the next night he would. He got our matter topper and pillows right away. He said they only have like 10 toppers for each floor. That night well we were at dinner he folded down our beds moved the table and put chocolate mints on our bed. The next two nights he made two baby swans and then a mommy swan for the kids. He also did the other things we asked the next day. He would talk to our kids every time he saw us. He would hind there stuffed animals behind the lamps and under the covers and picking out of different places. Then on the last night we asked him if we could get him to sign the kids book in his language and then ours. He said I can do better then that and wrote them a letter on his break. We love Norman! (Yes we tipped him extra!!!!) We went swimming in the pool the salt water was hard on the eyes at first but got use to it. Then we go ready for dinner. We had asked for a table for 4 since it was our 10 year anniversary and was scared of what we would get. It was a table for 8 It was wonderful they had two great kids and everyone had manners. (HI Peter and Linda, Michael and Nick) We had a window seat in the Smeralda dining room for dinner at 5:45 at seat 220 (if you have 3 numbers you are up stairs if you have 2 numbers you are down stairs that would have helped us on the first night) I and the kids always ordered the same thing. We had bay scallops au gratin wonderful, melon and mint soup good, they also have salads and Italian pasta! Fillet of tilapia. I am not a fish person and I thought it was good and not fish tasting. Dissertsouffle al cioccolato good and I always ordered a different ice cream they have the coolest ice creams!! Our waiter was wonderful he was fast, friendly, and great with the kids. There was TWO FORMAL NIGHTS!!!! The second night was one of the formal nights and we had ESCARGOTS it was really good. I wish the kids would have been there to try them but the squak club watched them for us. It was nice for the two of us. Huge shrimps, and I do not remember the desserts it is not on my menu. Third night we had fried calamarigood. Strawberry and banana soup (soups are like melted shake kind of we liked them) and I do not like melted ice cream but as close as I can get). steak and shrimps and they were good (remember I am from the beef state so if they are good they may be really great to you, after the reviews I just ordered a step more uncooked then I would have liked, and it came as I wanted it) chocolate mille feuilles with two mousses of fruit sauce. I also ordered the cheese and was not impressed with. The carnival ship has them bet big time but it is only a cheese dessert so we are moving on. The forth night was the most formal night The waiters danced and there was a ice cream dessert but that is the night you get the Alaskan king crab cooked in butter and eggplant with parmesan cheese. The last night the appetizer was great they had this mozzarella cheese (not like we get here, soft and oh yea) and sliced ripe tomatoes. mustard chicken with glaze and I was ready for some down home cooking. Out of the five nights I ate in the dinning room I would only tell you to stay away from one thing and that was the cold potato soup it was gross and the cheese was a joke it was sliced cheese (which was weird since they keep severing these fancy cheeses. But if that is the worst then it is not really that bad. We miss out waiter and he was so great my husband asked him for copies of the menus for me so I could scrapbook them. On the carnival that is what I have copies he got me the real deal on the last night (yes we tipped him for that also on top of) Sorry for all the food talk and on to the shows. The first night was Grand Variety show. I do not remember much. The second night as a magic show but I thought is was more like a Disney show with Aladdin and Pinocchio and other ones my kids thought it was a Disney one and loved it. The third one we were not impressed it as John Ciotta I think he just kept singing after 20 minutes we left the kids feel a sleep. The forth night was short dances of different movies there were only two things that were not good for kids and it said it on the screen before full monty so we turned the kids around but the rest were good. And the last night were people from the ship it was ok we did not stay for the whole thing because we had to pick the kids up. So do not know who won! Squok club The first night they are not open but you sign up ask questions and get to see the room. I liked that. The other days they are open from 9 to noon and then 3 to 11 p.m. and break for dinner except for the formal nights. We only took our kids three times the first time they thought it was only ok but would rather be with us (that was the first formal night and they had races and bingo) and then we took them on the day at sea to get a break in the morning from 10:30 until noon and they painted t- shirts (the same ones you can buy in the gift shop for $15.00 each yes a $30.00 savings) and they got play money every time they went. Then that night they had an action and my kids got both together a backpack, cd case, two wallets and two necklace things to put your room card on) I thought they were very nice gifts to remember Costa. They loved the last night! Plus on the last formal night they had this Italian night were they decorated masks and they got tattoos and they made paper flowers for the kids for free on deck 4 or 5. It was very nice for the kids. The luggage was the only thing I could really complain about when we left our room the first time we found pieces of our stuff that feel out in the hall way and the suit cases just thrown every where some stuff broken nothing big. We did not use them when we got off we carried our own luggage off the ship. One thing ladies you may want to pack your hair dryers theirs are dying. I did not mind because we were going in water everyday anyway. But you may want to know that. Breakfast well we really liked that we could order breakfast in bed. It was nice to just move slow in the morning. We liked the chocolate turnovers and sweet rolls and juice and the cappuccinos all free!! So we only ate breakfast in the buffet on the last day and it was good. We only ate lunch in the dinning room twice because we were at port the other times. It was very nice. The food was good and it was more quit and peaceful.Our first stop was Key West. We heard about a small aquarium. It was just perfect for us. It was only $30.00 they have a tank were you pick up and feel the animal. Our kids were there for 30 minutes and then we did the rest of it in 30 minutes and we had 30 minutes before the tour. They let us leave and come back so nice Then we came back the tour was great Joe took one of each animal out of the feel tank and talked about it and then showed us how a shark eats and let us all pet the shark and he was not pushy he took his time with each kids. He was great. Our second stop was Cozumel We did not want to stand in any line to get off the ship so we would wait a half an hour each day and never had a line. Cozumel was really nice. We got off and went cross the street and there was taxis’ waiting like Paradise Tom said. They were $13.00 to drive us to Paradise beach we loved paradise. It was clean and no one was forcing us to buy anything. We got chairs and we all four bought wrist bands to use the toys that were a huge thing for the kids. There was an ice berg only big kids can do it my 7 year old made it one time I was very proud of her. I only did it two times and there is a trampoline and the kayaks and did not have time to use the snorkel gear. We thought since it was free to go to the beach and so clean that the food would be expensive. It was not we got nachos with guac and sour cream and cheese and it was only $7.00 and our kids got fruit drinks that were good I tasted before giving them only $5.00 each. And I got a huge pine apple drink and hubby wanted something he heard about a lime and salt beer thing he said it was ok. Our tab was only $33.00 we ran out of time and they ask that you spend $10.00 each so we left the rest with the waiter. Only thing I did not like is the taxi back said I do not have change and I had a $20.00 Hubby forgot to pack ones (very important in Mexico) Well when I said I will go find change he said he had a $5.00 bill so I left paying him $15.00. I do not like sneaky people. He told us to the market place everything was expensive there. It got cheaper the closer you got by the boat. You would thing the other way around but I was wrong. We were running out of time with our small legged kids but they did have shirts 6 for $10.00 and blankets for $4.00 I got a bag for $5.00 at the market it was $25.00 and kept going down the closer I got to the ship. They even had 99 cent stuff key chain and necklace and maracas are the things we bought. Then we got back on the ship and went to eat at the buffet. Then we hit the water slide. It is only open like 2 hours a day so if you want to do it make sure to look in the “TODAY” for times each day. The last port as Grand Cayman. We had made plans to go with Moby dick string rays before leaving home. We had 30 minutes to shop enough time did not think that anything was cheap and I bought a Christmas ornament, sting ray carved out of a stone (was $12.00 when came back from tour was $5.00) and post card an paid $15.00.total. It was great even the kids feed the sting rays and my five year old kissed one. Then we went snorkeling I thought this would be a waste of time. But it was cool. I was so wrong. Moby Dick was only $130.00 our family. and they picked us up by the port drove us to the boat.. There were only 42 people and we all got enough time with the rays and snorkeling. When we got back on the ship the buffet was the only choose and the lines were very long. We were starving. We thought later we probley could have got free room service. We only had one day at sea and we thought that the pools, buffet and areas like that would be very crowded. So we stayed away and we had been in the water everyday so we were not sad. The kids did the kids club and we laid down and took any art class (painted pottery) and then went shopping and then picked the kids up for lunch in the dinning room and then we brought battery bubble blowers (one was broken so just took turns and then we did this game thing with the ship and then got ready for dinner (sheets are hard to put on when you are trying to be fast and they supplied leaf crowns nice touch) and then after dinner kids went to kids club and we went to the show because we did not realize that the spa closed so early so we could not use the hot tubs or steam rooms. We were sad about that and our time was up. Do not miss the midnight buffet on the special night it is something! I would do Costa again. We could have never had a land vacation like this for the price. Customs were really fast and very nice. I would be happy to answers any questions? Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
After reading some critical reviews of the Magica I boarded 4/8/07 with little expectation of a great week. From the time we arrived to the time we left the cruise exceeded our expectations. As a frequent cruiser I am not easily impressed ... Read More
After reading some critical reviews of the Magica I boarded 4/8/07 with little expectation of a great week. From the time we arrived to the time we left the cruise exceeded our expectations. As a frequent cruiser I am not easily impressed but this ship was impressive! The ambience is wonderful, Italian influences abound from the huge atrium entrance to the wonderfully appointed dining and meeting rooms. The food was wonderful, they know how to do pasta, I wish I had the recipes for all the great dishes we enjoyed. The ship visited Cozumel, Cayman Island, Jamaica and Grand Turk. We did not purchase any ship excursions but went off on our own. The Grand Turk stop was on a beach I believe Costa (Carnival) owns. The beach had wonderful white sands and plenty of lounge chairs and cabanas to enjoy plus a new shopping area with Little Switzerland, margaritaville, and other nice shops. The evenings entertainment was impressive, from laser shows, top notch entertainers, musical/dance reviews to toga nights we were never disappointed. No lame comedians, jugglers or magic acts. The staff was always attentive and helpful. Every day was packed with different opportunities ie: trivia games, tennis or bocci tournaments, arts and crafts, dance lessons, high tea, aerobics instruction, plus the usual bingo, horse racing, etc. The gym was awesome, plenty of machines and equipment and the place was immaculate. There were some children and young people on board but they were never a nuisance as there were plenty of programs for them too. We (there was four of us) all agreed it was one of the best vacations we ever took and plan on going back! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
So after reading all the bad reviews I tried to keep an open mind about my vacation. My aunt had been an a Costa cruise before (not Magica) and said it was fabulous. Since it was Easter and my entire family was going (mom, dad, sisters who ... Read More
So after reading all the bad reviews I tried to keep an open mind about my vacation. My aunt had been an a Costa cruise before (not Magica) and said it was fabulous. Since it was Easter and my entire family was going (mom, dad, sisters who are 18 and 20), grandmother, aunt and my boyfriend (we are both 24), I decided to go. Embarkation: When we all arrived, I thought it was going to be a breeze going through security since there wasn't a line of cars getting into the terminal. As we stood in line, it seemed as if everyone was allowed to cut in front of us. Everytime we were getting ready to go through security, someone else came up and jumped in front. Once we got through security, we than stood in line for another hour. The woman helping us was very nice, but by that time I was already irritated. Well I can't say everything was bad, unless you consider all the rude Europeans which consisted of 95% of the staff and cruisers. After we got to our room, our cabin steward was extremely nice and showed us around the room and where things were. We than decided to walk around the ship which was the most confusing ship I have ever been on. I have been on three cruise ships before this one and always knew my way around by the second or third day. When we were getting off the ship, I still got lost. There is only one floor that went all the way across making it very difficult to get where you wanted to go. The maps were useless. They were all in italian/or numbers. After going around the ship, we figured our luggage would be there. Well it wasn't. I went around the corner on our hall and there was a HUGE pile of suitcases. I managed to find mine and my boyfriends luggage so I just took it. If I had not taken it, I wouldn't have gotten it until almost 9pm (actually when my sister did). After getting our luggage, we went on the top deck to watch the boat take off. We decided ahead of time to get the X1, which allows you to drink unlimited (only beer, wine, soda, and water) during lunch and dinner. Now make sure it is the right time according to whomever is serving you, because I think we still never got a straight answer on when and where we were allowed to get the unlimited drinks. I decided at 7pm (dinner started at 7:30pm, but I was told 7pm by customer service) to get a drink at the outside grill. The ordered two beers thinking they were free. I asked him why he charged me and he said it wasn't free until 7pm. I told him I did not want them anymore and proceeded to get harassed by another bartender. I took the drinks and left and was than "cat called" as you would say by the rest of the bartenders. My father went to customer service where they did nothing. So if you like to be around rude, harassing staff, this is the cruise for you. Dining: The food was actually not bad depending on what you ordered. As the reviews said before, the pasta is amazing!!! It was prepared right in front of you during the lunch hours and they always had something different. The seafood was very fishy (except the shrimp cocktail) so I would stay away from that. Meat: The red meats were not very good, but the chicken dishes were very good. The soups and salads were great (especially the Caesar salad). The grill outside had your usual burgers, pizza, fries which were better than I expected. Overall, the food was better than the other cruises I had been on. Service: The only three people that I can say I liked on the ship were our cabin steward, our waiter and our drink waiter. They were the nicest people and were always very accommodating. Our drink waiter always had our drinks ready when we got to dinner and we never had to ask the rest of the trip (unless you wanted something different than the norm). Everyone else on the cruise could barely speak English and were very rude. The photographers were horrible and very rude when picking out and paying for pictures. The photographers didn't even make sure everyone was in the picture before they snapped the camera. Every other cruise line, the photographers at least act like they are professionals. Ports/Excursions: The first place we went to was Cozumel which was ok. My boyfriend and I did the snorkel and clear kayak excursion which was nice, but way over priced. We paid $62 per person for both the snorkel and kayak which included the taxi. If you paid for everything separately and did everything on your own, it would have been $31 per person ($7 for cab, $12 for snorkel, and $12 for kayak). The snorkeling was neat, but the kayak was boring and not worth it. Next, we went to Grand Cayman which I had been before and boy was that a disaster. The boat has to dock out in the ocean, so we had to take a tender to shore. The water was extremely rough to say the least and took almost 45 minutes to dock. We decided to just go to the 7 mile beach which was a $4 cab ride per person. The beach was so unbelievably crowded so we had to walk down the beach to find open space. The drinks at the beach bar were $10 a drink which was not worth it either. On the way back out to the boat, the cruisemen ended up not tying the tender tight enough to the boat so we kept crashing into the cruise ship. It hit so hard one time, the window broke. I know it was not there fault because the water was so rough, but they didn't say anything to anyone. People were screaming, and kids were crying. It was a mess. Jamaica was fun! We went to Dunn's Falls which I highly recommend. The only downfall were the amount of people trying to climb the falls at one time. We also went white water rafting which was very cool! A little suspicious, but well worth it. Grand Turk was by far my favorite. We had this little island all to ourselves (the boat I mean) and the water was gorgeous. This was a nice relaxing day on the beach. Disembarkation: A breeze. I wish embarkation was as nice. Overall: I won't go on another Costa cruise line ever again. I have been on Royal Caribbean which was phenomenal, Celebrity which was very good, and Norwegian which I don't recommend either. Next cruise won't be for a long time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Just back today from our Magica cruise. Overall it was close to being perfect. This is the only cruise I have been on with only one day at sea. The rest of the time we were pulling into a port. Grand Cayman Island was my favorite and ... Read More
Just back today from our Magica cruise. Overall it was close to being perfect. This is the only cruise I have been on with only one day at sea. The rest of the time we were pulling into a port. Grand Cayman Island was my favorite and Cozumel was my least favorite. The Magica is a big and beautiful ship that had "kids sail free" for this cruise. So needless to say there were a lot of children on board. There were only three children that I saw misbehaving out of maybe 150. The food is good at the buffet and excellent at lunch in the formal dining room. I did not care for the food at dinner because it was served cold, tough beef, long wait time and rude waiter, Anna Marie. Even though our inside room was small it was clean and the cabin stewart, Esperanza is excellent at her job and works extremely hard with about 20 hours of labor per day. Our room was located on the same floor as the pools and buffet so there was little walking involved to get to where we wanted to go. Most of the crew was friendly and helpful. The shows were well done and the Roman Night with passengers wearing togas were fun. Getting on and off the ship was always easy. At Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island we had a tender take us to and from the ship. This was down with ease and went quickly. I would recommend the Magica to my friends at CruiseCritic.Com. I would recommend parking your vehicle at Park and Fly. The free shuttle service is excellent. Our car was in a secured lot with good lighting, a fence, security and a guard gate. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Cat. 06 Oceanview Room/Number 1275 Costa Magica March 2007 Married couple with two small kids ( 2 1/2 and 5). Embarkation was a breeze. It took literally about 10 minutes to get through the line and get processed, and on board. The ... Read More
Cat. 06 Oceanview Room/Number 1275 Costa Magica March 2007 Married couple with two small kids ( 2 1/2 and 5). Embarkation was a breeze. It took literally about 10 minutes to get through the line and get processed, and on board. The ship has two main dining rooms: Smeralda and Portofino. We ate in Smeralda, it was beautiful and the wait staff was outstanding. They do an Italian Night where the waiters sing and dance, it was a lot of fun. The food was not great for the typical cruise ship food, I have had much better on Holland and Celebrity. It was mediocre and the portions were small. Stay away from steak, even filet of mignon was substandard. Outback has better steaks by far than this cruise ship! Bellaggio Buffet-On the 9th floor near the pool area. Well laid out for a buffet with many lines to go to. This buffet has a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pizza until 1AM as well as afternoon tea at 4PM every day. The food is a lot of Italian dishes, salads, breads, and desserts. Not bad for a buffet. Grill-The grill near the pool is typical American Food...grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey burgers, fries, salad, etc. There is also an ice cream stand at both the grill and buffet areas. Children's Club-I have two complaints about this club, first when I booked my cruise through COSTA directly they told me my 2 1/2 year-old could attend as long as she was potty trained. That is A HUGE LIE..they check birth certificates and did not allow my 2 1/2 year-old to attend the entire week. We booked our cruise on the premise that she could attend camp with her older sister. Secondly, after looking at the calendar of events for kids for my older child most of the activities were boring compared to other cruises. They played memory games, had a colorful aquarium day, danced, but it wasn't as well thought out or organized. Wasn't the typical PJ Parties, cake decorating, pizza making, costume parties that you find on the other ships...the spirit of the kids club just wasn't as vibrant and energetic. I would not recommend this ship for couples with YOUNG KIDS! Casino-The Casino was nice for the 5 minutes I was winning on a slot machine, I had my kids with me because I could not drop my younger one off at camp, and I was told no kids in the casino. That was a huge bummer, but what doesn't make sense is no kids in the casino but you have to go through the casino to get to the arcade. Entertainment-Dance lessons were a lot of fun (Cha, cha we did this one) and they offered belly dancing and salsa. They offered cooking classes which I did not attend, and they had a pizza tossing contest for adults that looked amusing. The theatre entertainment is definitely worth missing, it was horrible. It is like going to a Disney Show with generic characters, it was just awful. I could barley sit through one of the shows. Stateroom-large, good for a family, one double bed with a set of bunk beds. Nice bathroom, corian countertop, separate shower, vanity area with blow dryer, and ample closet space. We were in an oceanview room on the first floor. Immaculate! Disembarkation-Piece of cake...this was very easy and smooth compared to other ships. This cruise would not be one of my favorites, I have been on Norwegian, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity before trying Costa and I would say Costa is at the bottom of my list as far as cruises are concerned with Norwegian and Holland being at the top of my list. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
We just got back from our Costa Magica cruise today which started 3/25-4/1 2007 to the Western Caribbean. I went as part of a larger group which consisted of 3 families with 5 children ages 6-8 years old. I went for the cheap seats, an ... Read More
We just got back from our Costa Magica cruise today which started 3/25-4/1 2007 to the Western Caribbean. I went as part of a larger group which consisted of 3 families with 5 children ages 6-8 years old. I went for the cheap seats, an interior cabin on the second level (Tintoretto) and spent almost $1800 for one adult and 2 children. The room was spacious enough, very clean, and comfortable. I persuaded my cabin steward to take down the extra bunk so the children wouldn't fight over who got to sleep on the bunk. After a little tussle of words, he agreed and the kids were so happy. There was a good mix of people from different nationalities, mostly European, so the overall mood felt like we were definitely getting out of the country. I was floored by the decor, which can only be described as "over the top." If you like life size human molded arms for the various light fixtures and chandeliers, then this is your baby. Literally, these arms are a green patina and in the closed fist rests a lightbulb to help you find your way, I suppose. The cabin floors feature wall coverings with various female forms, all from different periods, so a unified theme is not discernible, except - well, female. The images were from all over the place, including hula honies, art noveau, art deco, wood nymphs, etc. I'm not an art snob, but this was bad form. Also, there were huge wall pieces of art at some floors that went from cartoonish fairies with wings to murals of tulips. I didn't quite get that either. In the rooms, the art was usually of something that evoked magic - aha! Costa Magica! Ok, so the art was bad and so are the light fixtures. I was really worried about the food after reading some posts online and have to say I was pretty happy with it. The pasta dishes were fantastic, the caesar salad was authentic, and the beef and fish were generally pretty good. The kids menu was really boring but the good news was you could order off the adult menu for the children which I figured out a little too late in the cruise. We chose the X1 package which was $11 per person per day and you could drink all the soda, wine, and water at dinner and lunch as possible. If you are a wine drinker, do not bother with this package. The wine as a friend described it was, vinegar with a hint of wine in it. You could do as our friend did, and bring your own 6 bottles to the table where they served it for you (and in this particular instance - no corking fee was charged). Costa has a children's club called Squok Club. There are two age divisions, 3-6 and 7-12. The hours are 9- noon, 3-6 p.m., and 9-11 p.m. My kids didn't really like it all that well and complained from time to time, but there were occasions when I did witness them having fun. The staff are very nice and I felt comfortable leaving them there unless they tried to cling onto my legs while wailing for me not to leave. I usually got over my initial distress after a couple of minutes. There were 2 nights when the children ate at the Squok Club and we were able to enjoy a nice dinner without the usual chocolate milk spills, bathroom breaks, verbal sparring, whining, etc. The meals seemed to be more delicious on those nights. I went to one show on board and thought it was really cheesy. There were a few vignettes that were outright hokey - such as a duet featuring songs from Top Gun, with the male and female leads in flight jackets, a really bad Grease medley, the song from Ghost where Demi Moore is at the potter wheel and what's his face is fondling her, but on Costa they did a flowy dance to the song. The worst one was an adaptation from Harry Potter that we just didn't know what to do but laugh at. I thought the service was decent. After a few nights, our waiter and head waiter really nailed down what we liked so we didn't have to order the sparkling water, wine, decaf after dinner, the fabulous caesar salad, etc. However, that being said, service was slow. My favorite night was Italian night - you guessed it - Italian food but with a little fun. They did some old time Italian songs, Volare, That's Amore, etc. and the waiters danced some. My least favorite night was Toga Night - the last night of the cruise when you are feeling like you need a little vacation from your vacation (as one friend put it) and it just seemed too fabricated to be fun. Now for the excursions. I didn't book with the cruise line. I went on our own. We found a very terrific company called BarrettAdventures in Jamaica. Carolyn Barrett was amazing and took us to NON TOURISTY haunts. I repeat, no Senor Frogs, no Margaritaville, no Dunbar Falls. Instead, we went tubing down a lazy river, and saw the most beautiful view on the island at Firefly, Noel Coward's residence. Carolyn then took us to a REAL grocery store where we stocked up on jerk seasoning, aged rum, and blue mountain jamaican coffee. I can't recommend her enough! On Grand Turk we opted to not stay at the cheesy Margaritaville cruise port entirely owned by Costa (so we were told) and went into the town. there is not much there, but it is quaint and lovely in a 60's Key West sort of way. I found out Grand Turk is whale watching area and there were great snorkeling spots. If you want to get away from it all you should visit this sleepy little town. I went to a little cafe, I can't remember the name, but it's on the way into town and it's oceanside and there's good food, and internet service! they played good tunes too. Embarkation and disembarkation were terrific and ran like clock work. Overall, Costa Magica delighted me and my children. We had a nice vacation, ate good food, visited 4 islands, and I didn't have to cook or clean during Spring Break. Not bad! Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Embarkation was smooth due to having Priority status by being in a Suite. The Suite was great. Roomy, great service, lots of closets and the bathroom even had a jacuzzi tub. Personnel on the ship were very nice and extremely helpful. The ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth due to having Priority status by being in a Suite. The Suite was great. Roomy, great service, lots of closets and the bathroom even had a jacuzzi tub. Personnel on the ship were very nice and extremely helpful. The food left much to be desired. The variety was lacking and the quality of some items was very poor to not edible. The Club Vicenza was not good at all. Service was outstanding, music for dancing was great, but the T-bone steaks were covered with tenderizer, could not be cut due to grissle, and basically were not edible. Breads were hard and dry. Deserts lacked moistness and variety was not good. Many items were oversalted in the kitchen. Entertainment was only self-contained. No comedians or musicians were brought in to entertain. Second seating shows were before dinner, really interfered with "get ready" time. There were an abundance of kids on board (12-18 years old) who were unsupervised and allowed to make passengers life miserable. Most of the passengers were foreign, with only a few Americans on board. Smoking was very prevalent among the European passengers and it was allowed to interfere with No Smoking areas. Deck chairs were placed against each other and body odor wafting over the deck was rampant. Ports of call included San Juan, PR; St Thomas, USVI; La Ramona, Dominican Republic and Grand Turm, Turks and Caicos. The ports were nice except for La Ramona, which caused many passengers to return to the ship early due to extreme poverty and being besieged by beggars and vendors. We spent much time in our room as most of the passengers did not desire to speak English and/or associate with the few Americans on board. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
We traveled on the Costa Magica the week of March 18th as part of a mid size group, there were 7 of us in my immediate family in 2 cabins (2 kids - 1 yr old and 4 yrs old). Our Western Caribbean itinerary included San Juan, St Thomas, La ... Read More
We traveled on the Costa Magica the week of March 18th as part of a mid size group, there were 7 of us in my immediate family in 2 cabins (2 kids - 1 yr old and 4 yrs old). Our Western Caribbean itinerary included San Juan, St Thomas, La Romana (Dominican Republic) and Grand Turk. Embarkation - it took us about 1 ½ hrs to board the ship. Overall, it went as smoothly as boarding 3,000 passengers could be. We went directly to our cabin and found our room keys and the tickets for the excursion we had purchased a few days prior online on Costa's website. The muster drill occurred around 4 and with a 1 yr old is not easy. Holding a 1 yr old while wearing the both of you are wearing life vests is not easy. The staff did offer me a pass to go back to my room if my child became too much to handle. I just took off both our vests and was able to get thru the entire drill. Ship - The ship was beautiful, this is an Italian Cruise line and you can get a sense of their culture from the dEcor. There ship is covered with artwork, statues and A LOT of gold. Most of the documents and menus were in English and Italian, and some in 2-3 additional languages. Announcements were also made in several languages. Entertainment - some of the shows are kind of hokey, if you are looking for Vegas or Broadway like shows - this is not the cruise for you. If you are looking for something to pass the time during your cruise, then the shows will entertain you. The last night was "Roman Night" and the passengers talent show - this was fun. You have to give credit to the people who have the gusto to get up there are show their stuff. The last night every puts on their togas to dinner and for the show - again kind of hokey but it is fun. Everyone has their own interpretation of how to tie a toga, some better than others. Kids Club - the Squok club was excellent. The club is broken into 2 groups - Mini Club (3 - 6yrs) and Maxi Club (7-12 yrs old). Every day there was 3 sessions, roughly 9am-12, 3PM-6PM, 9PM-11PM. Kids need to be diaper free. My 4 yrs old thoroughly enjoyed her time spent in the club. The activities were interesting to her and the counselors were enthusiastic. There was more than one night were she cried because she did not want to leave. Part of the group were traveled, also had a 5 and 7 yr old boys that also stated they liked the club. Every night had a different theme - jungle animals, spooky Halloween, pirates, etc. They had 2 dinners during the cruise specifically for the kids and served pasta, chicken fingers, fries, etc, on these nights the session ran from 5:30-11:30. The counselors even went around cutting up all the food for the younger kids. There were two group photos taken, one with all the kids in the created Halloween costumes and the other with the Captain of the ship. During the time in the club - the counselors give our "Squokkers", play money used as positive reinforcement. My child couldn't wait to show me at the end of each session, how much she earned for being good. The last session of the cruise, the squokkers can be turned in to the Squok market to get free stuff. Every kid walked out of the club with a bunch of stuff, my child received a backpack, wallet, bubbles and yoyo with the Squok logo. I wasn't too keen on traveling with my children, let alone leaving her in a club for any length of time. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the organization and execution of activities by the "Children Animators"/ Counselors. I think my child had the best time of anyone in the group. Ports - Our captain hauled the ship to San Juan so we actually arrived an hour early at 4PM. I still wish we were able to arrive during the morning since many of the sites are closed around 4-5. This port primarily caters to the late night club but you can still use the daylight to shop and see the narrow streets of old San Juan. The 2nd port was St Thomas, we took an excursion to Mountaintop/Coral World. MountainTop is the highest point in St Thomas, basically it's a brief tourist stop to take some photos of the island and buy some souvenirs. Coral World, an Ocean Park was a good choice since we were traveling with younger children. Overall, it did not meet my expectation that I had after reviewing the website (http://www.coralworldvi.com), it was smaller than I thought it would be, but my kids did enjoy it. The entire excursion was only 4 hours so we still had another 4 hrs to go shopping around Havendale Mall which was right beside the ship. So overall, it was worth the time and money spent on the excursion. La Romana, this is a fairly undeveloped port that was created (in my opinion) as a way to push people over to the Casa De Campo Resort. There is NOTHING, in the vicinity of the ship, many people without formal plans got off the ship to turn around and get right back on. We stayed on the boat at this port but heard good things about Altos de Chavon, a village that was created which is a few minutes from the port. You can take a bus or cab over there so I am told. Several other people did go to Casa De Campo which I heard was beautiful. There is a swimming pool and beach that is inside this complex than can be used as well as restaurants and other amenities. Grand Turk, this is a beautiful, still undeveloped island, not yet fully raped into a commercialism tourist trap like ports in Cozumel and Jamaica. Carnival built a facility right off the pier than includes a beautiful beach with fake looking aqua blue water, a handful of stores/vendors and a huge Margaritaville with a huge swimming pool, restaurant and bar that you can hang out in. We stayed within this complex and didn't venture out. I read a few bad reviews of the hop on, hop off trolley and didn't want to get stuck with my 2 kids and have to wait to get back. Food - I must admit, my expectation was high for an "Italian" cruise ship. The food overall was decent, not spectacular. We had a early sitting for dinner so we stuck with that most of the trip. The dinner buffet does not open up till 7:30 and we did not want to wait for food. They did prove a high chair for my 1 yr old and it was set up every night by the time we arrived. The head waiter was very helpful and even though I brought my baby food for the entire week, they did offer to bring him additional baby food. The did have a large selection as well as the always available - chicken, spaghetti, cheesecake, Caesar salad. I did not have any dish that I would consider awful, just not a excellent and I expected. We same held true for the buffet, as on any cruise, you can eat to your hearts/stomach's content. Other Services - Pharmacy - My 1 yrs old did get sick and had a fever few days on the boat and I had to use the pharmacy to get more Tylenol. All the medications are in Italian so I was a bit concerned since I do not read Italian and was afraid I would overdose my child. The nurse was very helpful with the medication and it did break my son's fever and make him comfortable. The medication was reasonable about $5.50 for an average size bottle of Acetaminophen. Laundry - we did bring clothes for the formal night with the intention of using the laundry service since the rooms do not have irons. On average, it would cost almost $10 to press a simple dress or suite. Luckily, I packed well, every stayed decent because I couldn't' see paying almost $40 for the 4 people in my cabin. I might bring a steam iron next time I cruise. Electric Outlets - I read a review that suggested bring a power strip, which I did pack. Thank god I did, I brought a portable DVD players for my kids, plus curling iron and had cameras to recharge. I couldn't do it all with only the one outlet that was there. TV - people with kids - if you have it, bring a portable DVD with a selection of movies. There is nothing on the few English channels that would keep them entertained if you need to stay in your room any length of time. As I said, my 1 yr old was sick and we took turns staying with him in the cabin - the DVD was a life saver and broke up his already cranking sick mood. Cribs - I was provided a crib during the trip however, I would recommend that if you need to use their "crib" that you bring your own bedding. I do not think the bedding was ever washed and my child who has sensitive skin was breaking out from the dirty fabric. Luckily I did bring both crib and "Pack and Play" sheets, neither fit their crib perfectly. The ship provides essentially a Chicco play pen which is longer than a traditional Graco/Evenflo playpen yet smaller than a traditional crib. Staff - Overall the staff was good, the waiters were had were patient and very helpful with the menus. By the last night, some of the staff was starting to get a little cranking. The room steward was good and kept our room tidy At the disembarkation, one of the guys from the social staff snapped at one of the guests because he claimed to have only had 2 hours sleep. The attitude seemed to be "you had a good time, but we are tired of you and its time for you to go". We were slightly annoyed the morning we left because we were told we had to leave the room by 8am. We left our stuff in the rooms to run to breakfast, and when we came back at 7:40, our steward were already in our cabin prepping it for the next set of guests.. Disembarkation - now this was a mess. They had us all meet in different areas according to the color tag we were provided the day before. My color was to meet in the theater at 8:45. They then proceeded to call out colors to get each group to disembark the ship. When our color was called, we had to go from the theater (deck 3 front of the ship) to the middle of the ship, deck 2. We traveled like a herd down the stairs to one of the little hallways lined with cabins to get to the middle exit. Hundreds of people trying to converge into 1-2 lines in the narrow hallway WHILE stewards where in this same hallway cleaning rooms with carts in the middle of this hallway. There was no consideration we were traveling with small children, and they were both almost trampled and cut off from us by tired cranky people trying to get off. The staff was not very helpful directing traffic to help with this mess. Overall, did I get what I paid for - Absolutely. Did we enjoy ourselves - Absolutely, we made the best time of it. Did my young kids enjoy it - Absolutely, I did not regret bringing them even though I had initial concerns. Would I travel Costa again? Probably not - it was a beautiful ship and we enjoyed our time, however, I think you can get a bigger bang for your buck with Carnival or Royal Caribbean (this is a sentiment that I heard many times during the trip.) Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
My husband and I cruised on the Costa Magica in Feb. The ship is fairly new and kept real clean. The location of our room was unbelievable, it seemed we NEVER walked anywhere. We were right around the corner from the elevator and mid ship ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the Costa Magica in Feb. The ship is fairly new and kept real clean. The location of our room was unbelievable, it seemed we NEVER walked anywhere. We were right around the corner from the elevator and mid ship so everything was right there. Upon arriving at the port to start the cruise we arrived about 11:30 and were about 50-75 people back but they opened the doors about 11:40 and everyone filed in thru security. That part was real smooth and absolutely no problem getting right to our room. We booked this cruise last minute and got late dining so we went right to the area designated for questions on dining and got our name on a list to be changed (which was granted). We enjoyed a nice lunch at the buffet and walked the ship getting used to the layout. Our bags arrived about 2 hours later (perfect) and I cannot tell you how friendly everyone was on the ship as far as crew goes. This was our 2nd Costa Cruise and had only cruised Princess before. The "flavor" of the ship and friendliness is above average. Our Waiter from India "Venky" was the best I have ever come in contact with. He was exceptional! His personality made it so you couldn't wait to go to dinner and not just for the food. The interaction between the waiters and entertainment staff and customers was very nice. The little extra activities like "Italian Night" and "Toga" night was alot of fun. Our room was just average we booked an inside cabin and had plenty of space to store everything....nice to have room under the beds to put suitcases. Only complaint in this area was the shower...for some reason the water leaked out of the shower everytime onto the bathroom floor so that was a constant mess. Food was real good only complaint was on some of the entrees the helpings were real small. But there was never any problem with getting enough to eat :). Entertainment was VERY good. The singers and dancers are very talented and very very entertaining. Our only complaint was not enough shows. there were 2 nights out of the 7 where they did not even have entertainment and that was a big disappointment as we looked forward to the shows. We did one shore excursion on the Dominican and it was so-so. It was to a private Island (boat ride over and a welcome drink for 48.00) It was just OK as there really wasn't anything there but some sand and beach chairs and some little shacks with locals selling knick knacks for an outstanding high price. Our children did not cruise with us but I noticed on a couple of different occasions the children doing different fun activities. On the fitness part of it my husband and I worked out most mornings and there were simply not enough treadmills. Also there were no TV's for the people riding bicycles just treadmills. The sauna and steam rooms were very nice. One thing that was offered on this cruise that was not offered anytime before is if we wanted to get off the ship early, we could keep our bags with us and leave the ship at 7:15 am as soon as the ship was cleared with customs. We opted for this as we wanted to get an earlier flight. It was fine until we got outside and were waiting for the taxi cabs and then it was like a riot as people were fighting over the cabs and it was very very disorganized. The police did not help matters as they were more confused then the rest. Overall it was a great experience and we would certainly cruise Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 1.0 2.7
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.9

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