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65 Costa Magica Cruise Reviews

I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, ... Read More
I was party leader for a group of 10 friends and family. I joined this cruise with low expectations, based on the previous reviews. What I actually experienced was way beyond my expectations. We did the Baltic Cruise and visited Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg and Tallinn. This is an expensive route normally and this was a budget price in the scheme of things. Based on what we paid and what we received there are no complaints. The food was of a good standard at the buffet and the formal dinner and in fact some of the formal dinner food was amazing. I had one of the best beef steaks I have ever had on one evening! The waiters could have been a bit more jovial but they were not rude and their service was fine and we always had a good experience every night. The room was bigger than expected with a good size comfy bed and plenty of hanging space for clothes. We did not see our cabin steward at any time on the cruise but the service was fine and the room was always well looked after. We did have a problem with a shower tray that would not empty properly so one ended up stood in water and also with water overflowing onto the main bathroom floor. I reported this and they came and fixed it while we were out. They then called the room later that day to make sure that we were happy with the fix and by that time we had not used the shower. When we used the shower we found that it was not working correctly still and so we called them and once again they came out to fix it. Once again they called us later that day to check it was ok and this time the fix had worked. I have been on many cruises and I have never had a follow up call to make sure that we were happy with the fix. This is a first for me, so well done to them for actually taking the time twice to make sure we were happy with the repair/fix. Credit where credits due. We did three excursions through Costa and two of these were very good. However we did do the Best of Stockholm and Vasa Museum tour on the final day which is a 3.5 hour tour at €70 per person their ref 2501. This is rushed tour and is not enough time. It ended up that we only had 40 minutes in the Vasa Museum, which is the highlight. They introduced this as one of the World's best Museums and a wonderful experience and then gave us only 40 minutes inside. This is ridiculous as in my opinion you need at least 1.5 hours inside, minimum. I would suggest that you go privately and take your time as this is an amazing museum that deserves more of your time. This was a blemish on what was otherwise a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad ... Read More
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad thing that I have to point out is that they have VERY small swimming pools on the ship, and this is a real problem when 3000 people want to swim at the same time. I loved the food, Italian cuisine is famous worldwide and I think there is something to eat for everyone. :))) And they have a WONDERFUL entertainment team which made me dance and stay awake every single night till God knows which hours. Important to know: - You can link your credit card to your ship card and then don't have to worry about payment. - They have totems now, so you can book your excursions there. - Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without any crowds and problems. I will definitely travel with Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It was my first experience with Costa Cruise. North Europe destination (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn). In short: Embarking - just few minutes, nice welcoming by staff, photo and ID card is ready, you leave baggage at ... Read More
It was my first experience with Costa Cruise. North Europe destination (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn). In short: Embarking - just few minutes, nice welcoming by staff, photo and ID card is ready, you leave baggage at collection point and you go straight to the cabin. Your baggage is delivered to your cabin within next half an hour. As simple as is. Cabin: we had balcony one. 1 double bed and i single one. Both comfortable and well sized. Cabin perfectly clean. TV set might have been a bit bigger but was ok. Shower worked well. Dinning: we chose international breakfast option - enough variety of food - whatever you need. All fresh and tasty. Dinners were extremely good. No standing in queues nor waiting for service. Ship - Magica is quite big ship (apprx 110k tons) - means big enough to be stable but not crowded too much Service - as always staff was just perfect - smiling, speaking different languages, polite and well-skilled. Entertainment - we attended 2 events "Voice of the sea" and "Magic moments" - both worth of spending time. Excursions - we prefer organising trips on our own. Stockholm is stunning, packed and extremely expensive; St. Petersburg is incredible (mus see points are Peterhof, Tzarskie Selo, Hermitage, Nevsky Prospect, Issac's church and On Blood Church. All of them you can easily reach on your own using public transport. Value for money - J have no idea why people spend fortunes on other cruise lines whereas they don't offer anything better than Costa (maybe snobbery?). Long story short: take Costa, pay half of what other lines demand and have wonderfull holiday. Robert Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Note: Boarded Dover,09.09.17. left Marseille 21,09,17. This was our second Costa Cruise, the last was on Luminosa. We chose it because of the bargain price of £600, outside cabin for 13 nights and the itinerary of Dover to Marseille ... Read More
Note: Boarded Dover,09.09.17. left Marseille 21,09,17. This was our second Costa Cruise, the last was on Luminosa. We chose it because of the bargain price of £600, outside cabin for 13 nights and the itinerary of Dover to Marseille taking in some different to usual ports. We were extremely pleased with the ship. Spacious, clean and comfortable, nicely decorated in the usual glitzy costa style. Food and service were excellent in both the buffet and restaurant although the meanness of Costa regarding charging for water on the dinner table and the limited availability of free water, coffee around the ship still irks somewhat (coffee and tea only until 11am and during afternoon tea, water only at buffet hours so you have to stock up). Our cabin steward Chandan was exceptional and delighted us with his different towel creations every night. Our waiter Andreo also was superb and very attentive whilst discreet. The buffet was overcrowded for afternoon tea on sea days, needs longer opening times. Entertainment was superb in the theatre, the shows being of very high standard (excepting the ventriloquist, amazed he is still around having seen him before on Luminosa). The musicians around the ship were also mainly of a high standard, particularly the classical duo. Rather a pity the latter who played in a quiet room had to endure a noisy bartender crashing around and a few people who insisted on talking during the performance. Embarking and disembarking the ship was easy and smooth in most ports with the exception of Savona which was an utter shambles. We docked late. Staff put up signs to exits then changed them. Hundreds of people were trying to get off with luggage mixed wiith the day trippers. The port authorities would not allow walking but did not provide enough buses and Costa had no staff organising getting onto the buses. People blocking the doors from closing refused to get off so the bus couldn't move, it was bedlam. Also embarking at Dover was confused. The staff didn't seem to be expecting new guests and seemed very confused. We don't do excursions, prefering to do our own thing so cannot comment on these. All ports were an easy walk excepting Porto (why the shortened day there? It wasn't tide as we sailed on a low tide) which is easy on public bus or hop on bus and as we have been to Rome we got a local bus to Tarquinia. €2.60 return. The tour would have been 70 euros each (incl a lunch and museum entry). The main problem with this cruise however was not the ship or staff but the passengers. We have read before of issues with certain nationalities pushing and shoving, jumping queues etc on Costa ships but this was not our experience on our previous Luminosa cruise at all. It certainly was this time! Until Savona, guests comprised of around 20 British, maybe similar no of Americans, 800 Russians! and the rest mainly a mixture of Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. We have never encountered so many rude people in one place. Now I'm sure it was a minority but because it was such a significant minority the whole atmosphere of the ship seemed unfriendly. Rare were the usual greetings when one got into a lift or passed in the cabin corridors for example. Bacause the queue jumping was so prevalent people seemed on edge, always expecting it. Talking through the theatre shows was extremely irritating. One man even made a phone call! Swimwear in the buffet, nobody using the hand gel dispensers etc just general bad manners but what we really hate to see is the rudeness to the hardworking staff. On one breakfast table I was even saying 'por favor' and 'gracias' after ever order from one Spaniard for him I was so annoyed by his arrogance with the waiter. Strangely after Savona, with one day left of our cruise and where the majority of guests changed to start a new cruise, the atmospere completely changed. It was like a different ship. People were smiling again, the usual greetings and friendly chat returned. Yes there are always a few idiots but it really highlighted to us what a difference one's fellow passengers can make to a cruise. I'm not going to blame any particular nationality, we saw bad behaviour from different nationalities, however the dominance of Russians did not help. We met some lovely ones who found it necessary to apologisee for the behaviour of their compatriots. We have two more Costa cruises booked and it has put us off booking more. We shall see what the next ones are like. Costa provide an excellent cruise at a bargain price but perhaps they need to be careful where they do their marketing? Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many ... Read More
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many thanks to the lovely Amanda in Genoa for making this possible, she has proved more than once to be a true credit to Costa, she & her colleagues are always polite and helpful, sorting out our many needs.   Our fifth time on the Magica completing our 200 days with Costa, usual lovely cabin on deck ten, spotlessly clean and an extremely helpful room steward who soon had us settled in even help us to un-pack. Through cruise critic we had spoken to others on this trip before going, this proved to be a nice way to meet up, Adelaide & Frank from the US, Lilly & the Vagabond from Italy and our table companion's Tine & Bob gave us so much enjoyment we could not thank them enough for making this cruise special. We have become use to the crew of this ship who always go that extra step in ensuring we have everything we need, certainly better than the bigger Costa ships which seem to have lost some of the personal touches we have come to expect from our many Costa cruises. The larger ships like the Diadema do not have the same friendliness as on mid-sized ones, probably down to the huge numbers of passengers on board.  We tried, with some success two tours on this cruise, the first in Le Harve to a small fishing port on our own, mostly on the level so my walking was manageable made a nice change to be able to get off, although had to get assistance boarding coming back as tide had come in and gangway far too steep for me. Next to Oporto lovely river trip, sightseeing by coach, visit to Cathedral, major problem going back to coach up a really steep slope, however tour guide had coach brought down to us and assisted us on, really understanding driver and indeed guide, Costa should consider maybe mini-busses for the few English who often have tours cancelled, after all we have managed to use taxis in some ports.   Dining was in the Perla Diamante/Suite restaurant above main dining room aft, far too crowded now, with new club rules adding many more guests to an overcrowded room during the evening meals, with table allocation by number & two sittings, not as nice as our previous enjoyable meals there. Food was again disappointing, one day excellent even outstanding, next inedible and menus difficult to understand, no good translating to English but then using mostly Italian terms. Surely the number of plates being returned with food left raises some concerns, one evening ordered a special (lobster) which was so overcooked and tough I asked Maître D to return it to kitchen, no problem but no feedback or explanation as to why, just offer to choose something else, which was a veal medallion & really lovely.  Perhaps I should send them copies of the wonderful menus of the early 2000's  English Host Stephanie was an absolute joy, as our special member of staff she booked all our onboard requirements made us feel welcomed and visited us many times during our cruise, checking that all was okay. As we don't venture ashore much now it is so nice to chat with members of the crew who always had time to stop and enquire about our day, bar tenders, waiters, even maintenance workers on deck spoke, which to me makes a great cruise. The Magica is laid out like most ships of Costa so very easy to find way around all areas were clean, slight down side to the piano bar, no coffee now, but lovely waiter from classical bar next door brought me Cappuccinos on the hour each night with a smile. All in all still a great way to spend a couple of weeks in the sun on one of my favourite ships. Now looking forward to the Diadema at Christmas first time back on Costa for the festive season for over 10 years. Not quite the best ever Costa cruise but very close. 9/10 Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and ... Read More
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and service. Restaurants were great and food was incredible. Since we were on a suite, the menu was different from the other cabins, but, nevertheless we went to the buffet restaurant to have lunch several times and the experience was positive. The only negative thing is related to tours. Sometimes it was difficult to get spanish speaking tours and when we finally managed to have a tour in spanish, some guides did not speak the language fluently (they sometimes read from a folder and they have a very poorly translation of the information they have to give) I love the cruise experience and I will probably repeat it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise line/ship for the Italian style/language/culture having family from Italy. We have been on the Costa Victoria before and like it very much. Although cruise lines have cut back on some the features like full scale ... Read More
We chose this cruise line/ship for the Italian style/language/culture having family from Italy. We have been on the Costa Victoria before and like it very much. Although cruise lines have cut back on some the features like full scale entertainment and midnight buffet, the overall experience is very good. I have read many poor reviews of Costa Magica but most the negatives are due to a miss-match of what the passenger expected and what the cruise line provide. An Italian cruise line is going to speak Italian plus 4 other major languages. Don't expect all English even when cruising in the Caribbean. Of course food is always subjective. Some have very high expectations and other have lower. The cruise we were on had good to very good food quality and I did not see any repeat selections within the 7 days. The entertainment had been cut back but did build and the week progressed. The staff service was excellent, with special mention to our dining room waiter "Genio Baltista" who could not have been better. Very entertaining and made our dinners enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I enjoyed this cruise and the ship a lot! First things first, you have to remember that it is an Italian Cruise line so everything is general chaos. Boarding, not having your prepaid beverage and excursion packages set right is to be ... Read More
I enjoyed this cruise and the ship a lot! First things first, you have to remember that it is an Italian Cruise line so everything is general chaos. Boarding, not having your prepaid beverage and excursion packages set right is to be expected (especially if you booked in the US). I arrived in the Venice train station, Expedia never forwarded the luggage tags so it was a chore getting my luggage to the ship (and I mean a chore). If you have the tags you can give them to the Costa people at the train station. Must remember to get luggage tags. Boarding was chaos and you never knew which group number they were on, just get in line and if they say no, get back in line and so on until they finally say yes. Expect rudeness at the front desk when you walk on the ship as most of them are Italian as well as from the Eastern Europeans that work on this ship have a bit of an attitude. Those from Asia and India are the best! They shut the coffee service off after a certain time from breakfast and the buffets have certain times they are open or closed, so be prepared! Unlike NCL where you can get something to drink at any time, it is not the case on Costa. I had the beverage package which also included the espresso's so that was an added bonus as other ships charge for that. I showered in the spa where there were large private showers with soap and it was so much better than the small shower in my room. I pre-booked the excursions through Costa's website. The site is kind of a nightmare. Have receipts for everything. I was told that I didn't have the beverage package, so I had to show the receipt which was in my room and was paid for 6 weeks in advance. I then was charged again for my excursion. So I had to show those receipts. Then I was told I didn't book the English tour so they had to recharge me and credit the other. The only tour you can book on the US Costa website is English. Either way, if you can get through that little bit of chaos, then you will have a great time on Costa. Oh, on rainy days, they don't put up larger canopy's like Norwegian when you are waiting to get on the ship from an excursion and security does not move fast. So be prepared as we were soaked trying to get on the ship in Malta. Leaving the ship in Genoa was very fast and the bus was quick to the train station. The weather was cooler as it was November and the ship moved fast (4 hours in a port as it was moving quickly to Barcelona to head to the Caribbean) which made me a little sea sick. The shows are done so that all languages can understand them and they are not bad. The night where they have amateur crew members showing their talents is rather intriguing. The ship does a good job in having workshops explaining in specific languages what to expect when leaving the ship, etc. and they do a good job in making sure that you are on the right excursion bus. The food was okay, nothing much to write home about. I was by myself for dinner, so my first night I was sat at a small table by myself surrounded by large tables of 8 or 10, so it was a little uncomfortable. The waiter kept forgetting I was there, so service was not so good nor was getting my water refilled, so I skipped it other nights until the last night which was Thanksgiving. I decided to show up for the early dining to throw them for a loop to see if I could get a better table which was the case. They served Turkey for Thanksgiving, so that made my night. Also, people tend to dress up a lot more than the casual NCL cruises at all times of the day and especially at dinner. Overall, I enjoyed Costa a lot and kept busy the entire time on the ship and I would most certainly travel with Costa and on the Costa Magica again. Just remember as an American and English speaker, you are the minority and providing the best service is not their expertise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We had cruised in the past with another cruise line and were not impressed. However Costa Magica was incredible. Service was great. The food was outstanding and the ship itself was wonderful. All excursions were top rate. We enjoyed the ... Read More
We had cruised in the past with another cruise line and were not impressed. However Costa Magica was incredible. Service was great. The food was outstanding and the ship itself was wonderful. All excursions were top rate. We enjoyed the activities and our room with a balcony was so relaxing and comfortable. Back to the food, every time we had pasta it was cooked to perfection...andante!!! The dinners in the evening had a varied menu of great entrees. We have traveled the world and have stayed at many high end hotels and have had fine dinners at many notable restaurants. Our experience here with Costa did not disappoint us. We were very happy with everything. In Venice, it can be a bit crazy at the Port but they had everything laid out so easy to get luggage taken care of and get right on board and the same ease for disembarking. Overall...a truly great experience!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Having read some negative reviews I wondered what the experience would be. Check in was efficient and we checked in earlier than the stated time. The ship was nicely decorated. We had the inclusive drinks package. This gave good value ... Read More
Having read some negative reviews I wondered what the experience would be. Check in was efficient and we checked in earlier than the stated time. The ship was nicely decorated. We had the inclusive drinks package. This gave good value for money and included practically all drinks with no limit. The restaurant served excellent food and was well presented and served, sometimes service was a bit slow but nothing to complain about. The entertainment was to a high standard and staged very well. The time ashore was always quite limited but enough to get a quick view of the destination. The passengers were mainly Italian with maybe 30% UK and other nationalities. The Italians are not good at queuing and the buffet lunch was a bit of a bun fight. The buffet food was not as varied as Holland America line. The cabin we had was inside, had plenty of room and was well equipped. I would recommend the cruise if you are prepared to accept that it is not top notch but very good value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had a generally nice cruise (2 adults, 2 children). The crew was very polite, the ship very clean and well decorated, the program of free entertainment very rich. However, it was relatively expensive everything it was not included in ... Read More
We had a generally nice cruise (2 adults, 2 children). The crew was very polite, the ship very clean and well decorated, the program of free entertainment very rich. However, it was relatively expensive everything it was not included in the cruise package (excursions [well organized] etc). Our cabin was in the size I imagined, well climatized and served. No problem with the food; well cooked and satisfactory variety. You can also fill small bottles with water on the 9th deck. No smoking rules were strictly kept throughout the cruise. You have to know english or italian to communicate easily with most people (the tourists are mainly italians). In reception some speak more languages (french, german etc). The pools are rather small. It's not a good idea to take a bath in them with many others aroynd you. The free time we had in some ports (Venice, Corfu) was less we expected. I would travel again with Costa. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have sailed many times but not from Europe. First, I must agree with one review that said the cruise was what you made it. True, true, true. We were concerned about the many negative comments. This was our take: there was very little, ... Read More
We have sailed many times but not from Europe. First, I must agree with one review that said the cruise was what you made it. True, true, true. We were concerned about the many negative comments. This was our take: there was very little, if any annoying smoke. The food was quite good with more than ample choice. The portions were appropriate unless you are a glutton. As non drinkers, there was always water and coffee available at no charge. Bottled water at dinner was very reasonably priced.The rooms were larger than most and the balcony was a delight and cleaned. The ship itself was quite pretty. The complaint about fresh fruit was ludicrous , I had apples, plums, pears, pineapple, melons as well as dried fruit with breakfast. The entertainment was excellent. There was much talent in every show. Hopefully, this dispels some of the hard to please. The not the best comments were the expensive and less than great excursions. Each port could be done on your own much less expense. More time would also have been nice. The staff was always there to help. We would definitely go on the Magica again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I have previously cruised with princess and royal caribbean but that was alongside my family. So this was my first booking of a cruise without parental help! We looked for a bargain and came across Costa. After cruising with the other two ... Read More
I have previously cruised with princess and royal caribbean but that was alongside my family. So this was my first booking of a cruise without parental help! We looked for a bargain and came across Costa. After cruising with the other two companies I was sceptacle about the quality of the cruise, the interior, food, etc but my fears did not materialise. THE ROOM We got an offer to upgrade to a mini suite from an Ocean balcony and took full advantage of this. So were treated to a butler on call alongside our cabin steward, a pillow menu, breakfast served to our cabin every morning (no charges applied), a meal in the exclusive restaurant included, proceseco, canapes and fresh fruit delivered to our cabin every morning. The room was lovely, a small dressing room, bathroom with whirlpool bath, large balcony and importantly a very comfortable bed. ENTERTAINMENT Every day we got a newsletter in English informing us of the activities and there were so many that we always had difficulty selecting something to do. The evening entertainment was good lots of international singers and performers in the many bars, the shows in the theatre lasted around 45 minutes and were good. If you are travelling with young children it is very much a family orientated ship. The excursion options were extensive. We opted to do our own thing in Corfu - walking distance to the town from the ship, we got a map from our English host Holly who was lovely. In Bari, Venice and Dubrovnick we were able to do our own thing. We went on three excursions Kataklon to a beach (not the nicest beach in the world, very busy and chaotic - would recommend the trip to Olympius instead) Athens we did the Acropolis and Palaka and would highly recommend this, very informative guide, saw all the highlights and had some free time which was nice and finally Santorini where we went to Perissa beach and Thira - stunning black beach, lovely quiet area, nice boat transfer, coach ride and time in the capital before getting the cable car back down. Highly recommend Perissa beach. THE FOOD Some reviews might complain about the food and yes the buffett area at night was not brilliant but if you eat in the main restaurants the food is served at an exceptionally high standard, waiter serve very attentive - similar to some michillan star restaurants I've eaten at. But yes the buffett is not 24 hrs and only runs to midnight and serves pizza and salad in the evening. However if you eat in the restaurant this really shouldn't be a problem! The buffett at lunch and breakfast is pretty good. As many mention the drinks package is worth getting as you will easily consume more than the daily price, easy to use once you have paid. Would consider crusing with costa again after our recent experience. Despite being warned to use my elbows and knees because Italians don't queue this really wasn't the case and had no problems. You might not have lots of other English speaking guests to talk to but the crew are pretty much all fluent in English. If you do go with Costa and are on Costa Magica have a lovely time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Like most people, we chose Costa because it was the cheap end of the cruise market and we didn't even know if we'd enjoy the experience. If you are reading this, you are looking at the low end of the market and for a cheap cruise ... Read More
Like most people, we chose Costa because it was the cheap end of the cruise market and we didn't even know if we'd enjoy the experience. If you are reading this, you are looking at the low end of the market and for a cheap cruise in the sunshine. Don't let that stop you, because we had a ball! We were so nervous after reading all the reviews on this, and thankfully, not a single one turned out to be true in our case. The ship was full, that's over 3,800 passengers. You are in the hands of each of those 3,800+ people for how they behave and that can change cruise to cruise. On our ship the majority were Italians, second majority English speakers. Language is never a problem as the staff are all international speaking on average 5 different languages, with English as their second language. So from the beginning..... Embarkation - this was messy! We got there by People Mover and the signposts were inadequate to direct us where to go, and asking people that worked there took us to the wrong building twice, dragging heavy suitcases along the way. The crowds headed towards the ship - don't follow! It turned out to be a poorly signposted building where we dumped our cases and then had to proceed to a terminal building with a number. You then wait for your number to be called and join a massive line of people to check in, despite having to check in on line before you leave?! This whole process took around 3 hours and was the worst experience of our entire trip. On board - by the time we got on board it was getting late and the cabins were ready. If you had got there earlier, there was a buffet and welcome drink. We were not shown our cabin, we joined the masses and found it ourselves, cases in there waiting for us. We had a basic inside cabin on the 7th deck - brilliant deck! Excellently located for everything from restaurants to bars by using the stairs. Cabin was small and compact but had everything we needed and lots of space to put everything. It was immaculate. Bathroom was very clean, shower area only no bath, but large shower area and very good shower. The bed was large (2 singles pushed together) and incredibly comfortable. Our Cabin Steward was excellent - I expected a better level of customer service to those that paid for better cabins, but I was wrong. He treated everyone as if they were first class passengers and nothing was ever too much for him, and he was always helpful and cheerful. Each night the beds are turned down, and we walked into towel animals on the bed. Very small thing, but we found we looked forward to seeing what was on our bed each night! The initial pillows we had were too hard, not a problem, they were changed immediately for nice soft ones. Every day our cabin was cleaned to a very high standard, and never once did he get in our way, it all seemed to just happen. Breakfast and Buffet Bars - Breakfast was busy around 0800 - 0930ish. There were queues of people (yes, we had orderly lines the whole cruise!!), these moved fast. Food was always being put out, and in general European breakfast choices (it is an Italian Cruise, so to be expected), with bacon, sausages (European style, not Walls!), pancakes, French Toast, scrambled egg, etc. Always a lot of choice and very nice. There is an omelette station on the Lido Deck, which is where you can also get a later breakfast. Lunch was also Buffet bar - again orderly lines the entire week we were on board and a different theme each day (Mexican, Spanish, Greek, Chinese). The Lido and the Buffet bar tended to do different foods, so if you don't like what you see in one restaurant, then just walk through to the next and see what is on offer there. There was always fish, salad, hams, cheeses, prawns, squid, chicken and beef dishes on offer every day. Again, always fresh food being put out and more than enough choices for everyone to find something they liked. There was a selection of deserts and ice cream on tap. If you didn't fancy trying to find a table in the lunch rush hour, there was an open dining area with waitress service where you get a table on a first come first served basis. We didn't use this, as never really ate in the middle of the rush and enjoyed the food on offer so much, but the people we shared an evening table with enjoyed their lunches away from the lunchtime crowds. This is only available from 11.30 to around 1.30 though. All day Buffet - this is mainly pizza and salad. We only did this twice though as the amount of food on board was more than enough for us not to need to eat between meals. The pizza was margarita or a ham/tuna choice (no tomato - just cheese). I preferred the salad choices over the pizza for a snack, but the pizza was always being made fresh. Each evening there was always someone walking around on Decks 5 and 9 with a tray with different types of food on it too. Evening meals - We were sat at a table with another British couple and next to groups of Americans all travelling. They seem to put you in language groups, which is nice. The couple we sat with were wonderful and we really enjoyed our meals each night. There are 2 sittings, 7pm and 9.30pm. We got the 7pm slot which worked out in our favour in the end. Each night is a 7 course meal, each course is not big, but over the 7 courses it's more than enough for anyone. Some courses you get a selection (starters, pasta, main dish, desert), where there is no choice (ie salad course), select it any way otherwise you won't get it. We wrongly assumed that you got each course. On the other-hand if you don't like a course, you get to skip it. There are also certain foods available every day off the menu (burgers, spaghetti bolognase, beef steak). I stuck with the fish choices every day and not once did I have a bad meal. The food always arrived at a good temperature and I couldn't fault a single meal. Apart from one meat dish (veal), those that choice the meat options each night had no issues either. I can't vouch for the 9.30 sitting being the same service, but can see no reason why it wouldn't be. The waiters at the tables are incredibly busy the whole time, getting food to the tables, drinks, clearing up - they work like mad during this time, but you can always get service. Where we were sitting (Portofino restaurant), our waiters pre-empted our requests - they knew what drinks we would have after our first night, and everything was there waiting for us if we wanted it. There was never any issues getting wine topped up during the meals, or having wine at any point during the meal. We were always served with a smile and a "cheers!" Theatre shows - these were all multilingual shows. We enjoyed them all although some were far better than others. The Animation Team are really great to watch and listen to. Most songs are sung in a variety of languages and the costumes were lovely. A couple of the shows seems to be disjointed from one dance routing to another, but it made for good variety and did help everyone on board understand what was going on. The star acts were great. An acrobatic team from Hungary who were amazing to watch, a great Italian singer who sang in French, German, Spanish, Italian, English and Russian! And an entertainer who didn't actually speak but managed to pull of a silent film show that was so funny to watch using members of the audience. The shows are only on for around 45 minutes so are short enough to enjoy and still have a night afterwards. Bars - right first things first - DO get the drinks package!!!! Drinks are not cheap, and the package is a great package, even if you don't drink a lot. It includes wine, water, soft drinks, coffee, cocktails, and all drinks not marked with a red * on the bar menu. That's most drinks all included. You can get water in a glass throughout all the meals anyway, but you can get large bottles for excursions or sitting up on deck sunbathing during the day. In the reviews we read, smoking was a problem that came up a few times. As I said in the start of this, you are reliant on the other 3,800+ people on board with you. I can honestly say that during the entire week, the only time I noticed smoking was the outside area of the bar on Deck 3 and late at night in the casino. Most of the bars and dance floors are strictly non-smoking around those areas. All restaurants are very strictly no smoking. This was adhered to the whole week of our trip. There were people smoking on deck, but not in huge numbers or to the point that is interfered with our enjoyment. In fact, we didn't even notice it. But this was more to do with the other people on board that same week than anything else, so this can change on your cruise, or any other we take. There are numerous bars, all serving the same drinks, with different entertainment on each night. There is something that everyone will like somewhere on board from the bar point of view. Pools - the pools are small, salt water, not heated and not my favourite places. There weren't an awful lot of kids on board considering a fully booked cruise, but they did seem to fill the front pools in particular. The back one was more adult based, but the pool looked like a bath full of sun-cream rather than an inviting cool dip to cool down in. Jacuzzis are strictly over 16s only, but again, they did resemble a sun cream soup. Not really surprising considering the heat and numbers of people on board, but personally I didn't find them at all inviting and didn't actually use a pool at all, only the jacuzzi. Sun loungers - this is Europe - if you are not up at the crack of dawn with a towel and a personal belonging in hand to tie on a sunbed, then forget it. These are more available when the ship is in dock or shortly before leaving each stop. Despite that lack of them, it didn't bother us. There was more than enough deck space to find a space somewhere and just lie down. It was just more annoying that there were loads of empty sun loungers lying around with just a towel on them! The towels on board are all provided, and as the ship comes in to dock, the pool attendants go around collecting all these up, so this is generally when you can start finding sun loungers after 6am! Excursions - Very well organised really considering the getting on board fiasco! We booked 2 through Costa, but found out afterwards that there are always buses and taxis on hand at every port and you can do these places for very little cost. Getting on and off the ship for excursions was never any issue. The two we did through Costa was Olympia and Akrotiri in Santorini, both of which were excellent with incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. The other stops we made our own way around. For example in Athens, you can get a taxi to and from the Acropolis for around 20 Euros. In Corfu, you can walk into town from the port. In Dubrovnik, you can get a local bus from the Cruise Terminal into the old town and back again for around 50 Kunas. Once in Dubrovnik centre through, you could use Euros. Disembarking - we drew the short straw with this. You dock at 0900, but have to be out of your cabin by 0800. Your cases have to be packed and out of your room by 0100 and are then taken away for you to collect when you get off the ship. You are each given a colour coded strip that is your disembarkation time. We had the last one - 11am. From 0800 to 11am is a long wait on a docked ship! Although breakfast was supposed to be served only until 0930, we found the Lido deck carried on serving it, and even making eggs to order. We could also still get drinks on board. Despite having to wait, the whole getting off the ship was a lot smoother than the getting on experience. Overall I was very concerned about this cruise because of the reviews. At the end of the day we had voluntarily chosen to cruise with the cheapest on the market, and on a ship designed to take as many people as possible, it was always quantity over quality. Once on board it will always be the other passengers and the staff that dictate your cruise. Maybe we were lucky, everyone lined up for everything, and were polite, courteous and friendly and the staff gave fantastic customer services and we had no issues with languages. At no point did I ever feel that this cruise was quantity over quality. Everyone we met, with the exception of very few bar staff, gave us incredible service and we were always welcomed with a smile. This is a massive ship with a very large number of passengers on board, particularly when fully-booked, but they have an adequate number of very hard working staff who seemed to genuinely enjoy their job and who want to make sure you have a great cruise. If this is the bottom end of the cruising market, then I am intrigued by the other end of the scale based on the experience we had on board. I wouldn't hesitate to go with Costa again, or to do this cruise. We had a fantastic experience where everyone was so friendly and great, but then maybe that's the secret - as my mother used to say, treat others how you expect to be treated yourself, and everyone will treat you like a Queen!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I normally cruise with a friend on an 'adult orientated' ship, however my niece turned 18 and I accompanied my sister in law on this cruise as her birthday gift. I had read reviews on Costa and was not looking forward to this ... Read More
I normally cruise with a friend on an 'adult orientated' ship, however my niece turned 18 and I accompanied my sister in law on this cruise as her birthday gift. I had read reviews on Costa and was not looking forward to this trip that much. However, after the initial shock to the senses, noise, smoking areas, I settled down and ended up really having fun. Fun is what Costa is all about, and they certainly go all out to make every day as good an experience as you can have. Now, smoking.....I am almost militant about non smoking, and I was prepared for the fact that smoking is allowed throughout the ship, but unlike the previous reviewer I did not find the whole ship to be 'filled with smoke'. It is allowed on one side of the ship, both inside and out, and throughout the Casino. I found that people did stick to this most of the time, and never found it an issue to find somewhere smoke-free. The idea that it would give you sinus problems is frankly ridiculous, and if you have problems with your sinuses, perhaps it is better to travel on another line. In Europe the anti-smoking lobby is far smaller than in the UK, or USA, and Costa would go broke if they banned smoking altogether. Surely this is what the member reviews are for, and if you take the trouble to write one, surely you must have read some! That's all about that. The ship is decorated in a style which is not to my taste, full of bright colours and I found the cafeteria restaurant to be quite dark away from the windows, not helped by the paint used. The food at breakfast was varied, and although the food was not of a luxury standard, it was well cooked and fresh. The lunchtime buffets, were dotted around the decks, and each day was a different nationality buffet, Spanish, German, Italian, and the seafood was really lovely, there was calamari, mussels and large prawns on more than one occasion. In fact, we almost enjoyed the lunches above dinner. Dinner service was not of the standard of Celebrity, but we had a waiter and a bus boy who were pleasant, and helpful, and remembered our drinks order. We personally could never have eaten the 7 courses, and normally a starter, main and possibly an ice cream was enough. My niece generally had the pasta starter as a main, and there was no problem with this, in fact they were always accommodating, even though they were run off their feet. Several evenings they had a 'party' type night, and the poor waiters had to either stand with torches, and our waitress even took part in some dancing on the balcony! Although my niece is 18, she is slightly special needs, and as we took the drinks deal, they also allowed her to just have the children's one, saving my sis in law about 70.00. I looked all over for a comparison to see if the drink deal was good value and couldn't find one, so I'm giving some examples here. Cocktails are 6.95, spirits 5.30, cappuccino 2.50, soft drinks (glass) 2.95, beer 4.90. All these are in euros, and plus 15% service. It doesn't take much adding up to see that 19.50 euros per day including the 15%, is an amazing deal. We're not big drinkers, but with a couple of coffees, and 3 or 4 drinks per day, we saved hugely! The shows were amazing, and not all in Italian at all, as good as West End, and although I don't usually attend on other lines, I found myself looking forward to them! In all, the crew and staff were really friendly, the officers much in view, and everyone went to so much trouble for you to have a good time. In the end, you get what you pay for, and you need to check on smoking, as they say, you pay your money and you take your choice. If you want value for money, great service, and lots of fun...give them a try! Go Costa! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The good (and there were lots of good areas) are as follows, beautiful ship exceptionally clean in all areas, lovely inside cabin 8239 on deck 8,spacious not claustrophobic excellent staff! The catering/bar staff were hard working ... Read More
The good (and there were lots of good areas) are as follows, beautiful ship exceptionally clean in all areas, lovely inside cabin 8239 on deck 8,spacious not claustrophobic excellent staff! The catering/bar staff were hard working courteous and always smiling and a pleasure to chat to ! Lots of choice for breakfast and lunch in the buffet restaurant but if you wanted to eat there in the evening only Pizza/Salad is available it would appear.This didn't bother us as we like to dress up and ate in the restaurant every evening.If you like to have large portions in the restaurant then go for the 7 courses that are available, we didn't feel any more than 4-5 was needed ourselves but that's just our opinion ! The drinks package was amazing providing most premium brands of beers spirits wine and cocktails, also fruit juices large bottled waters and speciality coffees but not coffee with alcohol content. Lots of bars all very different from each other all with music/singing ! The ports of call were amazing ! Value for money exceptional !! The not so good- EMBARKATION - this has got to be the longest time we have ever had to wait to get on board over 3 hrs from getting to Port to getting on board! SAFETY DRILL - long winded, drawn out, little information regarding what was going on staff keeping watch over us constantly counting rows of people and the public address in so many languages we lost count, muster station with lots of people all wearing life jackets for so long in the heat that thought we would all pass out before we really new what was going on. Think these areas could be worked on !! ENTERTAINMENT - not bad on occasions however on others quite boring and amateurish in fact the show on the last night which was done by many on board crew members was by far the most entertaining and memorable. Room for improvement - The food, not the worst we have ever eaten but certainly not as good as other cruise lines we have been with. The words " could do better " spring to mind. AREAS TO WATCH OUT FOR- mandatory daily charge which CANNOT be opted out of, INTERNET please please keep a watch on this !! we had very poor coverage most days with little or no signal, my partner needed access on a daily basis to keep in touch with his business at home, he opted to buy a Internet package which should not have cost him more than around $30 however when our final bill was made up he realised something very wrong as he had been billed completely different from what he had requested and had a bill for over $170 !! as it was only presented to our cabin in the early hours of the morning he went straight to customer services upon waking to be told that nothing could be done by them as the bill was already made up and that he would have to correspond with Costa upon return to UK, this did spoil things for us and we are currently in discussion with Costa over this. A WORD OF WARNING - CHECK YOUR BILL WITH RECEPTION BEFORE THEY PRINT IT OUT JUST IN CASE ANYTHING IS AMISS AS YOU HAVE TO PAY REGARDLESS ONCE IT HAS BEEN PRINTED OUT !! We loved this itinerary of Ports visited on this cruise however we were disappointed to find that Santorini and Dubrovnik were only for a few hours and would have preferred longer here and due to ship not docking at quayside and a tender system for transfer we actually only had around 2 hours ashore by time our numbers were called. Overall opinion of Costa Magica- would we use this line again? a very easy answer Yes we would !! Was it good value ? - It was exceptional value ! - Would we recommend to others ? - we certainly will be !! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
First the very bad: All our 3 excursions were cancelled. With very short notice. (No other English-speaking had booked.) As we are much more interested in the ports, than for example night shows and sunbeds, this made us very ... Read More
First the very bad: All our 3 excursions were cancelled. With very short notice. (No other English-speaking had booked.) As we are much more interested in the ports, than for example night shows and sunbeds, this made us very disappointed. Second, bad things of minor importance: 1. Breakfast- and lunch buffet were very crowded. After some days we find places to slip away from the most busy places. 2. Few of our fellow passengers understood English. 3. Coal flakes from the chimney were falling down on our stern-balcony. Now to the positive (including surprises): 1. Everything in our cabin was of very good quality and function. 2. The English speaking staff saved us from being totally isolated. And they were overall fantastic, both competent and friendly. 3. Food was very good. Both well cooked and high quality ingredients. (my mother was cook to the former Swedish king.) 4. The pool-area on the ship was very attractive, with its levels. 4. The "drink-package" was a very good bargain. Something like 20€/day for everything to drink. (Except the most expensive wines/drinks.) Naturally I compare this Costa-cruise, to the two on similiar ships I've made recent years. One was with Royal Caribbian (RCCL), Splendour of the Seas, the other was with Holland America (HAL.) MS Eurodam. And as I see it, all three give you, all in all, similar quality. Costa is cheaper, but have a more crowded ship. HAL offers more exclusive meals. My conclusion is that you get what you pay for. In future, I can choose any of them. When money is no problem, I prefer HAL. But if I want a wonderful ship, I choose the old Splendour of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Costa Magica Cruise: Ten Days on the MediterInian Overview ... Having been on more than ten cruises, my wife and I knew pretty much what to expect. This is not a company that deals in expensive and highly rated cruises, so we ... Read More
Costa Magica Cruise: Ten Days on the MediterInian Overview ... Having been on more than ten cruises, my wife and I knew pretty much what to expect. This is not a company that deals in expensive and highly rated cruises, so we boarded not expecting much. After all, you usually get what you pay for. This was a last minute decision because it was cheap and took us to a cruise location where we had not been before. The cruise makes seven ports of call in ten days, ending back at its starting point in Marseille, France. Cabin ... Our first surprise was our room. Located on the bottom-most passenger floor, deck number one, we thought when we booked it that it would be tiny, cramped, noisy and uncomfortable. It turned out to be large , roomy with a bed that connected two twins with a single mattress cover making it as big as our California King at home. The room also contained a couch, an occasional chair and table making it comfortable to take room service meals. The lighting was super bright when wanted or could be adjusted downward to just two night stand lamps. The rooms have individual thermostats, so we were comfortable at all times. We had three clothes closets, two large pull out storage drawers under the couch, brightly lit make-up table, mini bar and a safe which could be locked and unlocked with a credit card swipe. The bathroom had the first shower that I have ever liked on a ship. Shut the water on and off without readjusting the temperature each time and the shower curtain stayed out of the way without sticking to my wet body. Did I mention the window? We were expecting little more than a port hole on the first floor, but it turned out to be a nice size window (about 4 X 5 feet) that was deep enought to sit in and watch the entry and exits to the ports and to watch the islands and the Mediterainian glide by. Crew ... The crew, as it is on most cruise lines, is made up mostly of workers from third - world countries. The ones we had most contact with were mainly from South America with a few from middle and far eastern countries. They were some of the most courteous, well mannered and pleasant crew we have encountered on any cruise. This is in stark difference to the passengers that I'll mention later on. Meals ... I can be picky about my food, so I'll say up front that I may not be totally objective here. The only meals we took in the main dining room were at dinner time. The quality was good as was the service. We always had a good choice. The only critical thing I have to say -and it really isn't a criticism- is that meat products do not have the same flavor as American meat products. It is not bad, it is just different. On the other hand, food choice in the buffet areas of the ship leaves something to be desired. The breakfast buffets are adequate, comparable to truck-stops in the U.S. Any other time, you have you choice of pizza and salad or salad and pizza ... that's it! Even in the late night selection the only variation is that you get to order your choice of three pizzas from a menu instead of taking it by the slice from the buffet. Entertainment ... As with the meals, something is left to be desired here. On other cruise lines we have been entertained by Hollywood performers, quality acts by well known musicians, comedians, and TV performers. On this cruise, we saw performances by no-name entertainers, a singer, a pianist, an acrobatic troup with dancers and a talent show by crew members themselves. On other lines, there were always two shows per night and the theaters were packed. On this line only one show was performed each night, and then, only to a partially filled theater. Excursions ... All the ports of call were places we were most interested in because of their historical significance. These are places we have only read about and this was the chance of a lifetime to see so many on one trip. Although a little pricey, we were not disappointed in any of them. We are still in awe at being able to tie time and place together with the history we were taught in earlier years. And the beauty of each place just left us breathless. Nickels and dimes One of the most irritating things we encountered on the cruise was prices charged for little things. Tap water on the ship is not potable, so you end up buying water for your room. The price per small bottle, about 12 to 13 ounces, will cost you €3.22, currently $4.25 U.S. currency per bottle. Consume two bottles each for you and your spouse or companion and you are talking about $17.00 U.S. per day ... Just for water. Take a ten day cruise and you will pay $170 for water alone. Want an eight ounce glass of draft beer? Be prepared to pay $6.45 U.S. How about Internet WIFI service? It will cost you $13.20 per hour. And, the instructions for use are so vague, they do not prominently show that you must return to the Costa web site to log off, otherwise your WIFI will continue running, costing you money although you may have turned your wireless connector off. So, don't think that the cost of your ticket is going to be the price of your cruise. You are going to be in for sticker shock. Passengers ... I guess I really should not complain here ... It is what I get for doing this cruise on the cheap. But, I have to say it. These passengers, as a group, were some of the most rude, uncouth, ill-mannered, people I have ever met. They never said "pardon me", "may I", "excuse me" or "thank you". And heaven forbid, don't get in their way at the breakfast buffet. They will literally (not figuratively) run over you to get there first. They reminded me of a stampeding herd of cattle. This is not to say we didn't meet nice people - we did. But they were a very select few. To sum up ... So, is it worth it? Yeah, I would have to say so. We saw some places and things we will never see again. And despite the type of passengers encountered and the petty pricing scheme, we are left with some good memories and a newfound perspective on history, maybe the most significant experience of all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My 3 best friends and I planned this trip to celebrate my sister-in-law's retirement. We planned to go 3 days early and visit Rome before boarding the ship. We booked cruise, tours, transfers and hotel all on line. After landing, ... Read More
My 3 best friends and I planned this trip to celebrate my sister-in-law's retirement. We planned to go 3 days early and visit Rome before boarding the ship. We booked cruise, tours, transfers and hotel all on line. After landing, our transfer took us directly to our hotel, DeLaVille Intercontential in downtown Rome. This hotel is a little pricey, but much worth it. Our rooms had little balconies opening onto a beautiful courtyard with antique french doors. Each balcony had beautiful flowers growing in pots even though it was November. The rooms were refreshing, beds wonderful and staff top notch. I would highly recommend this hotel with it's European flair and immaculate care they give to their customers. We had booked several days of tours with a company called "All Around Italy". Our guide and owner, Fabrizio was prompt, courteous, knowledgeable and very entertaining. He took us to Florence, Rome, then picked us up from the ship in Naples (Amalfi Coast and Pompeii) and into Tuscany after we disembarked from the ship. This was definitely the high-light of our trip. I would highly recommend using this company for any private or group tours. He knows people every where and can individualize your tour as you like. He took us to authentic restaurants off the beaten path for the best Italian food we have ever had. Hands down, he's the best! We boarded the Costa Magica on Saturday, November 5. All four of us were pleasantly surprised over the smoothness of the boarding process. All of us had been on cruises before, but never had we seen such ease with boarding. Before we knew it, we were on and so was our luggage! We had been told that the majority of people on this cruise were European and this is true. However, all the staff on the ship speak many different languages and we encountered no staff member unable to speak English. The cruise ship had a special representative for English speaking guests, and Natalie was absolutely the best. She was always available and even planned events for us to meet other English speaking guests as well. There was no problem getting around the ship and we met many other guests from America. The cabin was surprisingly large for an inside cabin. It had ample closet space and a large bath. We felt it was very adequate for our use. However, don't expect shampoo nor washcloths on these European cruise lines. We didn't mind.....we had brought our own. The food was good. I have been on other cruise lines and I can't say it was better or worse. It's very heavy Italian. We did take the late dinner time and that was a mistake. Europeans eat very late and it was much too late for us Americans. We didn't get started until 9:30, and never finished before 11 or 11:30. However, we felt we could have eaten much quicker, but the service was a little slow. The staff was great, but seemed to have too many tables to take care of. The wine packages are a very good deal. We had read where there had been problems with getting your wine when you needed it, however we did not have that problem at all. It was always readily available where ever, and when ever we wanted. The staff was exceptional. Our cabin attendant, server, etc. all was helpful and attentive. The courtesy desk was very helpful. The ship had lots of activities and the excursions that were good. Most of the tour guides spoke 2 languages on the bus because there was always other languages spoken along with English. Costa tried their best to only put 2 languages per bus. That was usually not a problem, though some times the guides were difficult to understand. The prices on the tours were also priced well and the guides were very nice. Over all, I would recommend the Costa Magica and would cruise again with them if the opportunity exists. I found the ship to be clean, friendly very international. If you want to visit Italy with Italians, I would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our first cruise and it will not be the last , we sailed from Dover uk on the costa magica I was a bit worried after reading some reviews , let me start by saying never take notice of reviews if you have not cruised before make ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it will not be the last , we sailed from Dover uk on the costa magica I was a bit worried after reading some reviews , let me start by saying never take notice of reviews if you have not cruised before make your own mind up .The ship was fantastic as was the cabin and food , the staff were excellent they could not do enough for you , my wife is celiac and she was catered for just as well as we were .The cabin was cleaned to a high standard every day and the ship was spotless the drinks were a little expensive but we took the j2 drinks package and made good use of it . I cannot understand why people give this company bad reviews , as this was our first cruise we have nothing to compare it with but if other cruise companies are half as good as this one then I would be happy , yes it is an Italian company so expect to here announcements in different languages but they are far and few between they did not bother us at all , most of the staff speak good English so communication was not a problem. I did not take any of the excursions as they are quite expensive as you would expect so I cannot comment on them but a couple we meet on board said they were quite good. So to sum up the cruise was fantastic and costa are excellent and I would most definitely take another cruise with them.I hope this review helps. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Remember this is an Italian cruise line......not a package holiday from the UK. Some of the previous reviewers have obviously boarded this ship thinking that with a stop in Dover that it would be full of Brits; this was certainly ... Read More
Remember this is an Italian cruise line......not a package holiday from the UK. Some of the previous reviewers have obviously boarded this ship thinking that with a stop in Dover that it would be full of Brits; this was certainly not the case. Infact, we very rarely saw many english speaking guests whatsoever - with the exception of the two couples whom we were seated with for Dinner. Embarkation was smooth and speedy at Dover with first impressions of the ship being - wow! We were sat for Dinner on a table of 6 and had a great laugh with the other two couples who were also British. The X1 drinks package is highly recommended - all beers are served by the glass in both the restaurants and buffets but you can take them out if unfinished - including full bottles of wine which can be ordered strategically and wil last you the rest of the night! On conclusion to the eating arrangements we thought it was a shame there is no alternate dining arrangement - the evening buffet being just pizza and salad (you cannot use x1 package there, only in the restaurant on an evening). However the food overall was excellent. I can understand some of the negative reviews on here as I work in a professional role within the food industry and am fully aware of the varying degrees and opinion and how everybody believes their opinion is 'right'! However many are just misleading. The lunchtime buffet had much variation and was of good quality. Dinner consisted of up to 7 courses depending upon your hunger levels - all very good quality, some dishes were a variation on a theme but always good quality. And, after 7 courses, I challenge anybody to still be hungry! We took just one Costa trip - to Paris from Le Havre. Whilst this was 96 euros it was the only realistic way of seeing the city in one day. The trip overall was good and showed you the main sites as well as allowing you 3 hours to wander around by yourselves. It was well organised and worthwhile. It has been mentioned a great deal about the italians on board. Yes, they do push in and yes they can come across as a bit rude - especially when getting a lift, what is it about getting in a lift before somebody else gets out?! You get to the stage where you cannot help but laugh! At no stage however did it become unbearable. The entertainment was a little hit and miss. Give it a go and take it with a pinch of salt. If you out off the ship exploring the cities (thats the main reason you're going on a Northern Europe cruise isn't it?) and then eat when you are back on-board it doesn't leave you a great deal of time to worry too much about the entertainment, that's what we found anyway. On a final note one of the best experiences of the cruise was the staff on-board the costa magica. Outstanding. The cabins and the ship as a whole were spotless. The itinerary made the cruise for us. Oslo being our favourite port of call although all stops have much to offer. It was a shame it rained all day in Copenhagen as it looked a lovely city also. Overall a cracking cruise without any major probelms at all. Would I cruise with Costa again - yes i would. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having been on 21 cruises over the past 8 years with 8 different cruise lines, we decided to return after about 5 years to Costa having been with them on four other occasions, Victoria, Atlantica twice and Europa. We enjoyed those cruises ... Read More
Having been on 21 cruises over the past 8 years with 8 different cruise lines, we decided to return after about 5 years to Costa having been with them on four other occasions, Victoria, Atlantica twice and Europa. We enjoyed those cruises with minor irritations and wanted to see how they now compare with other ships and companies.This time it was Costa Magica, chosen mainly because of the Itinerary. We were absolutely delighted with our first impressions of the ship's public spaces. In wonderful true Italian style and flare each area was delightful, especially the main lounge deck 5. In fact all the main public lounges, bars, nightclub, piano bar etc were on deck 5 and so tastefully appointed, except the rear lounge, Capri, where the furnishings looked dated and tired. We had a balcony as usual as my wife does not like having the air-conditioning on and we leave the door partly ajar at night. The cabin was very good and nicely furnished but was a wee bit smaller than others we have had...not quite so wide. The shower was excellent although it kept over-flowing flooding the bathroom on three occasions despite having reported it. The situation was perfect for us, mid-ships deck 9 and very near the lifts. This is important for us as my wife does have some mobility problem. Deck 9 on Costa Magica was for us the most perfect of all our cruises...short walk to the morning buffet; a few steps to the outside pool/spa and even shorter to the lift straight down to deck 3 for the theatre. Our dining room was on Deck 3, a short stroll from the theatre which was a delight. We were fortunate enough, as always, so far, to get a table for two. This was in lovely small area beneath the balcony with two very attractive very large blown photo pictures on the rear wall. It was almost like being in a small Italian restaurant in Italy. Of recent times, we don't usually eat in the main dining room more than say 3 times as the Alternative dining arrangements have been so good (see below). We ate every night in the main dining room and the food was very good to excellent with the most attentive and charming waiter and wine waiter who actually delivered your wine BEFORE you start eating. Our experience on many ships has been that the busy wine waiter never manages to get the wine to you until you are on the second course! This was a great plus along with others, one of which was a jug of iced tap water immediately came to your table as you sat down. The reason we ate in the dining room every night is because the Alternative Dining was virtually non-existent, consisting of one buffet area counter no more than 15 feet long consisting of a choice of pizza, pizza, pizza or pizza and some tired looking salad bits. Quite dreadful. Also there was no "Anytime dining for those who like that arrangement and quite clearly Costa have not caught up with the other cruise lines where the alternative dining...buffets are extremely good...for example on the 5 Royal Carribean Ships and 2 Princess ships we have been on, where quite often we have had better meals up in the buffet than in the dining room. And so Costa should take a really close look at what the competition are offering as they will over time, I fear, loose out to those who like a choice. The was just one other place you could eat on a "fine dining" evening and that was in Club Venezia where the ambience, views, furnishings, china, glassware was simple quite stunning. But that cost an extra Euros 20 each person plus wine/drinks etc. Now to the buffet - breakfast and lunch. I rated these 2 out of 10 for several reasons. The main buffet areas finished serving at 10am....help we are on holiday. The only buffet breakfast area still open after 10am was in the covered pool area at the back of the ship which stayed open until 11am. More often than not we ate there. This was a very pleasant and bright area to have breakfast save for the very limited number of tables and chairs with the main space being given over to loungers by the pool. Kids in the pool could be noisey. The main breakfast buffets and the covered pool buffet lacked so many things I am used to on other ships and indeed at home.Apart from diced melon and pineapple all mixed together, there was a marked absence of fresh fruit. A few bananas, plums but they went very quickly and not replaced. I saw no apples. The other fruit was TINNED pears and TINNED peaches. No nuts, seeds, raisons, bagels and the most disgusting looking bacon I have seen...crispy burnt dark lean bacon dripping in fat...no English type bacon which we English like!! On other ships there is usually a choice of bacon . No fresh toast but two slices wrapped in greaseproof and often been standing there for half hour or more. The covered pool area buffet was even worse with a very limited assortment. Bearing in mind they closed at 11am at 10.25 when we got there I asked for some toast, only to be told they were not preparing any more as it was too late. And she was quite rude to. I reported her to the Supervisor who was well aware of her attitude from other guests. Also there was no fresh fruit at all offering only tinned pears...and no yogurts..too late being the answer. Lunch time buffets were acceptable but nothing in comparison to ALL the other ships we have been on, so again Costa need urgently to address these issues. A very large theatre seating 1,600 but because of so many different languages, they are rather limited in the choice of performer...no comedians or any act which has spoken word in it. One of the highlights for me was a brilliant tenor singing some lovely music, only to be spoiled because they do not close the doors at the rear of the theatre and we were sitting about three-quarters of the way back and could hear quite loudly the music coming from the central atrium area...rather disrespectful to the artist ...and that happened each night.On other ships the doors are closed at the start of the performance. Although we knew what to expect through previous travels with Costa, we were just as irritated with the repeat in several languages (usually six at least) of every single announcement throughout day and evening during the entire cruise. One of the worst was when they were trying to get passengers to attend Bingo...and when announced it in a foreign language it comes over even more irritating...as "bingo, bingo, bingo" this happened almost every day and at least twice or three times . They had bingo sessions at 8.30 or 9pm some nights in the main lounges...now I ask you, is that really necessary? Kids...there were quite a lot of children on board up to teenage level and I was quite surprised and rather annoyed that they were allowed up so late. On other ships there is often a curfew at midnight and I think Costa should consider this. Costa Magica, like the other Costa ships is a late night ship with as many as five different areas playing music for dancing or listening well up to and past 1 am..a real must for the keen dancer. The Animators in the two main lounges were just brilliant and always managed to get many people dancing and with such enthusiasm. Excursions. We don't usually do many of the ships' excursions these days and prefer to do our own thing, which where available is the Double Decker Hop on and Hop Off City Sightseeing buses. These are excellent value BUT and a real big BUT , no ship we have EVER been on EVER tells you about them and yet on this particular cruise in at least three ports they stop right outside the ship. I even mentioned this to one of the bus reps who was most surprised saying that he will tell his boss because they pay , in this case , Costa to advertise them. Well they don't and nor do any other cruise ship as far as we have experienced. Life is all about choice and I feel that Costa and indeed other cruise lines should do the decent thing and give their passengers a choice. On one cruise I went on I asked how far the railway station was from the ship...she told me it was quite a long way. It was in Cobh and I wanted to go to Cork and she obviously wanted me to buy an excursion through them. I didn't and to my amazement as you step off the ship in Cobh right opposite on the other side of the road is the railway station..Just another example of being aware of alternatives to the ship's excursions. Gratuities. These were added to your bill at the end of the cruise and no choice but to pay them. Although having no choice, we did find it refreshing that we were not bombarded with reminders almost daily (on Royal Caribbean) of the need to pay gratuities. In fact it was never mentioned in the whole trip with Costa nor did it appear in the Information Booklet in our cabin...so, well done Costa. We still decided to give a small token to our waiters and cabin stewardess. Embarking and Disembarking. Embarking was just amazingly quick...in fact the quickest, walking straight on. This itinerary is rather unusual in that passengers are taken aboard on several ports of call...Dover, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Oslo, Copenhagen , Edinburgh and Le Havre and because only about 120 passengers got on at Dover, it was exceedingly quick and easy. At some ports it was a bit chaotic when returning to the ship and unless you sussed it out, it was quite easy to get behind the new guests who were having their passports and documents checked ...there was no clear sign at any port to show you the entry line for existing passengers. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise bar for the points I have mentioned and would again go with Costa as we know what to expect and not expect.There is a lovely atmosphere on board their ships, which for some, can be a bit too noisy at times. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the train to port, not expensive but train station had no elevator, had to carry luggage up and down stairs, signs at station were horrible, no one to help, no announcements for stops. Cruise port to airport we sucked it up and took a taxi for $200.00.Only 10% of passengers are native English speakers so it was interesting hearing all the different languages, crew does speak English. Cleanest ship I've ever been on-never saw a dirty glass or dish even early morning! My 14 year old LOVED hanging out with European teens in the disco and made lots of new friends! 9 year old only went to kids camp once- intimidated by kids speaking italian and Spanish. Really nothing for the 12 year old she was between age groups. We loved the smerelda lounge after the show, they played bingo every night then had a game with audience participation. Kids were allowed which you don't see on American ships! Music was from all countries and everyone danced-it was great fun!! Their version of the midnight buffet is great-every night at midnight waiters walked through the whole ship with trays of appetizers and sweets, much nicer than one night gluttony. We did not care much for the food but did not go hungry. Shows were great-many different kinds not just same dancers every night. Ports were great! Very different experience for kids with all the languages, they saw that the United States is not the center of the universe!!! Europeans are lots of fun and more free spirited than Americans-they must not need much sleep because all ages were in lounge dancing after midnight and up by 7 in the morning!! This is a circle cruise meaning passengers are getting on and off at all ports-this was great because there was not 2000 people trying to disembark at the same time! Cruise was a great cultural experience for all of us!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Since we were cruising in January, my main concern was about the weather but it turned out to be dry, sunny and the sea was calm throughout the cruise. Overall impression of Costa is very positive. We are a family of 2 adults + 1 ... Read More
Since we were cruising in January, my main concern was about the weather but it turned out to be dry, sunny and the sea was calm throughout the cruise. Overall impression of Costa is very positive. We are a family of 2 adults + 1 teen (15 years old) and everyone was kept busy by Costa's staff: the kid was off for the Teen Zone, my husband was into leaning Italian language and I was happy with Latino dance lessons. The ship is new and cabins are spacious. Negative: staff look exhausted, there's plenty of smoke in some areas and route was changed twice - we skipped Tunis and Marseilles. If you wish to ear gourmet cuisine - you can try it ashore. On board food is plentiful and eatable - nothing more than that. No complaints, though! Evening theatre performances are also far from being top of the range - it's not Vegas, after all! We did enjoy watching it couple of times - no complaints, we booked a cruise and not a theater performance! If you watch your spending you would not loose a fortune for on board expenses. not cheap, but reasonable. Would we like to come back? Yes, we definitely would. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We had not taken Celebrity in a few years so we recently booked a 3 nighter. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship, elegant and luxurious but not garish. The service was amazing and the food was the best we have had on any of the 52 cruises ... Read More
We had not taken Celebrity in a few years so we recently booked a 3 nighter. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship, elegant and luxurious but not garish. The service was amazing and the food was the best we have had on any of the 52 cruises we have taken. We favor Crystal, Radisson, MSC and Holland America but are fine with RC and NCL's newer ships. Costa is a disaster and Carnival has it's own customer base but we are not Carnival customers. We had a mini-suite which was beautifully appointed yet smaller than most. The bedding was terrific, one of the most comfortable we have ever experiences at sea. The embarkation and disembarkation was flawless. The cabin steward was very anxious to be of service as were the dining room servers. We hate buffets but the one on Eclipse was so well laid out and the food so good that we had lunch there twice. We used the dining room for breakfast and tried some of the specialty restaurants. The Bistro on 5 is great with only a very minimal cover charge. Those who visited the upscale restaurants raved about them but we waited too late to make reservations. We will now look at Celebrity first in the future. It is a ship for guests with refined taste used to some of the nicer things in life. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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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