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37 Costa Magica Cruise Reviews

Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , ... Read More
Costa is a Very Surprising Compony, We Enter the Ship in St. Petersburg, the ship is quite of big and good. We Booked Cabin with Window and the Cabin is quite big and good but there a addtion staff on money. The food on costa is good , there what to eat everywhere. there 2 restaurants on the ship. We was on smeralda and it was an goodrestaurant but it was take the food a long to get. Costa having a show every day Evening. there a lot what to see on board and what to do. But Pizza on board is on additonal Payment. the service on board is good. on Information there staff that talking in multi languages. the loading and unloading was good and quick. and the shops on costa is quite good and recommanded to wait to last day for sales . very nice cruise maybe We'll go again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the ... Read More
Booked this well in advance and decided to upgrade to a balcony premium room as also taking teenager with us. Given the reviews of Magica and Costa (read them after booking...) I was concerned that we may regret choosing this - but the itinery was fab and we have been on a couple of cruises before in eastern med with Royal Caribbean - so checked re package and location of cabin carefully - got a single bed sofa sorted rather than bunk bed - and chose Deck 9 as close to bars/buffet/pool etc. We had a fantastic week - and this is why I am writing the review (given the majority of very negative ones!) - as we really rated the following: - the dining room/food ! we were seated at an English speaking table and we had a laugh from the off. Hello Steve and Trish and John and Bev if you are reading this! - the staff - we found everyone helpful and friendly - far more than previous cruises - we enjoyed the gala night - it wasnt formal or stuffy and the whole set up is very relaxed and casual - if you want formal dont book this ship!! Norbert was excellent - the premium room - spacious and spotless all week - decent shower and loads of storage space. Decent bed including the single one - the sofa bed wasnt a hassle and just stayed down along wall all week which was ideal. - embarking/disembarking - all very straight forward - no waiting getting on or off and the same throughout at various stop offs. We got a public bus from central station when arrived at Stockholm - after gettting Arlanda Express from airport - takes 30 mins and cheap! - the itinery - we chose this primarily as we wanted to get as much time in St P and Stockholm as possible - we booked our own shore excursions in St P and did our own thing in other cities. We had a brilliant time in St P as we wanted to do more specific history and politics tours so used Ulko Tours to go to the Political History museum (fantastic - you could spend 5-6 hours there - ask for english speaking tour guide before you go) and also smaller KGB museum. Also did general city tour 1 day with Advertura - very good. These were costly - so it does add a lot to the overall cost of the holiday which we didnt realise when booking cruise. We booked our own flights to and from Stockholm separately so this gave us an extra day in Stockholm - otherwise we would have had to leave the ship by 4.30am on the last day. So this worked out for us and accomm in Stockholm was reasonable - stayed at Park Inn - a couple of stops on metro which was excellent. So overall we were impressed with Costa and would use them again. Yes - the majority of the passengers are Italian/Spanish (no surprise there then) and yes it was loud and noisy in all the public bars/spaces. The entertainment was as to be expected (!) and yes Costa makes the staff try to sell all sorts so there is too much selling at the info sessions - but we found the overall service and the dining experiences great. Just one thing Costa - please add water to the drinks package - its madness not being able to get a glass of water but as many spirits/wine/beer as you wish. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise to join some friends on a vacation and the ship went to islands we had never been to before. This is the first time on a Costa cruise. I had read previous reviews about pushy people, etc., but we found all ... Read More
We chose this cruise to join some friends on a vacation and the ship went to islands we had never been to before. This is the first time on a Costa cruise. I had read previous reviews about pushy people, etc., but we found all co-cruisers were good mannered people all enjoying vacation. The food was quite good at the evening dinner and buffets at breakfast and lunch. The entertainment overall okay but it was mostly too loud on the 5th floor dance area and in some of the lounges, one could hardly talk to someone sitting beside them and once it actually hurt my ears just walking through the area. This isn't evening "disco" time I am talking about this is early evening music entertainment. There is definitely opportunity there to turn down the music a bit. The other opportunity that Costa could look at is their dinner service. It was slow most the time. Often our dirty plates sat in front of us for quite some time, slow on wine refills and they didn't offer coffee service in the dining room. For cruise pictures...I think the Costa should move to digital. Who really wants 11X17 pictures for their walls? This cruise was excellent value for my money. I would travel on this ship again. Staff were all pleasant, food was very good. The ship overall had a nice ambiance. I really enjoyed one day while the ship leaving the island for the day, the "opera" singer, singing the song "Time to Say Goodbye". That was a nice moment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We travelled on a cruise for the first time so we did not know what to expect. I would like to give advise to people who are in the same situation. We booked the Baltic cruise through Tallin, Helsinki and St Petersburg. I was nervous ... Read More
We travelled on a cruise for the first time so we did not know what to expect. I would like to give advise to people who are in the same situation. We booked the Baltic cruise through Tallin, Helsinki and St Petersburg. I was nervous about the fact that I have never been on a cruise and I might get seasick. Luckily, we had great weather and the sea was calm. We were told that this is mostly the case on this route. You might feel the vibrations of the motor from time to time and on the bow (front) you feel the waves more than at the stern (rear). We booked a cabin with a balcony which is totally worth the price difference to see the beautiful Stockholm archipelago in the morning when you sail out and sunbathe away from the crowded pools if you enjoy your peace and quiet. We booked the non-alcoholic drink package but soon realized that for 2 persons 40 drinks were too much. Since you are out on most days and water is available all along the cruise. We kept drinking sugary mocktails, which were delicious but surely not very healthy. Also, the prices of the regular cocktails and drinks are not too high, with a bottle of wine starting at 20 Euros during dinner and a mojito costs 7,50 Euros. In summary, I would not get a drink package at all, unless you like to get drunk and party every night. The food quality at the buffet is reasonable but it gets pretty full, so the option for a quiet dinner on your table is great, although the selection is limited and you need to dress up a little. Be aware of the dress codes: There is a forrmal dinner, a white night and a Gala dinner and although not everyone in the cruise follows, it is nice to fit in during seated dinners. In my experience, staff were extremely friendly and the service was great (we ordered breakfast in the cabin on the departure day and had it on the balcony as we cruised out of Stockholm) We had the impression that most staff look happy, which gives you a good feeling. We did experience a couple of angry guests on the other hand, shouting at the customer service staff. If you do not like criowds or screaming children, there are many ways of avoiding them. The ship is so big, you can alsways find a quiet spot on one of the decks. There are many first-timer traps that are easy to fall into: The photographs, the souvenirs, the overpriced tours, the drinks and the spa. If you are sailing in nice weather, you don't need the spa. It is tiny, dark and the sauna and steam bath are separate for men and women, so if you are a couple you cannot share the experience. There are six jacuzzis and three swimming pools, two without loud music, you can enjoy without extra payments. The spa does not have a pool, only two indoor jacuzzies and a tiny relaxing area indoors. In Tallin and Helsinki do not book tours nor use the hop on hop off buses, you can take public transportation to the center of the cities which are easy to walk along if you are used to touring on your own.In St Petersburg we took the Costa tour, it offers some advantages, such as the fact that they wait for you if you are a bit late to come back,which might happen since the traffik is so unpredictable. You also feel very safe in the bus and during the tour. You might choose to take a tour on your own, bit it is necessary to have a visa from the Russian authorities to disembark without a booked tour. In all, Costa Magica was a pleasant experience and we would like to travel again on a different route some other time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was the first time I went on a cruise. I went with my mother, who had previously been on two cruises with RCI. We travelled to Stockholm by train, having spent the previous night in Gothenburg. We arrived at Stockholm Södra ... Read More
This was the first time I went on a cruise. I went with my mother, who had previously been on two cruises with RCI. We travelled to Stockholm by train, having spent the previous night in Gothenburg. We arrived at Stockholm Södra Station and took a taxi directly to Frihamnen, where Costa Magica was boarding. Boarding went very smoothly, we had to wait for maybe 10-15 minutes before we could board the ship. Costa Magica's décor is rather lavish, with thousands of works of art onboard. Depictions of women, in various states of (un)dress, is a theme onboard, which some more conservative passengers could possibly find slightly shocking. The age is beginning to show (she was launched in 2003), and the colour scheme could be called gaudy by some (I rather liked it). The ship's slogan is "Cruising Italian Style", and the aim is to cater to European tastes. In practice, the great majority of the passengers were Italians, the rest seemed to be mostly Spanish, French and Russian. Consequently, most announcements are made in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Russian, which means that announcements tend to be rather long. Due to the large number of nationalities among the guests, Costa Magica staff makes an effort to seat people who speak the same language together at dinner, which is a very good idea. The quality of the food is OK, ranging from bland to tasty. Costa being an Italian cruise line, the food in the main dining rooms is heavily dominated by Italian cuisine. The buffet is more international, the food arguably tastier (!) than the main dining rooms, and we noticed as the week progressed that the number of guests declined in the dining room and increased at the buffet. Due to the variety of languages among the guests, the entertainment tend to focus on song and dance shows. These were rather enjoyable, but an acrobatic show that was on offer one night was not to our taste. We signed up for an organised excursion in St. Petersburg (if you join an excursion organised by the cruise line, you don't need to apply for a visa), while we explored Helsinki and Tallinn by ourselves. The all-day excursion in St. Petersburg was worth it, even though 2.5 hours at the Hermitage was a bit much. Service onboard was good, the staff was friendly, and especially our cabin attendant Hugo deserves a mention. I would not mind going on a Costa cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
What we liked about the tour: • The room was an ideal size and the placement of the bed was nice so you could walk around it and could see out the window. • Lighting in the room was more than adequate, except bedside lamps are ... Read More
What we liked about the tour: • The room was an ideal size and the placement of the bed was nice so you could walk around it and could see out the window. • Lighting in the room was more than adequate, except bedside lamps are ineffective. • Not having to listen to the Tour Director or Captain deliver a message each day. • Being able to disembark freely shortly after the ship arrives in port. • Being able to bring sodas and water onboard. • Great room service by Glen and excellent table service in the dining room (table 79). • Destinations of the ship on this voyage. No other cruise line offers package visiting all of these Southern Caribbean ports. • Cost of this tour was reasonable What we Disliked about the tour: • Bed to hard and needs a topper to get rid of crack when two twin beds are joined together. On the affirmative side the comforter was very nice. • Lamps beside the bed to too low to be of any good when trying to read in bed and there are no lights over the bed. • Shower curtain blows open allowing water to cover the floor and floor mat. Lip on shower need to be a couple of inches higher. • Milk or cream not available for your coffee before 0700 or in the evening. Could offer individual serve, powdered milk or a small pitcher out earlier in the morning or later in the evening. • Spouse came down with diarrhea and could not make a Costa tour. At the tour desk in the morning I explained this to the young lady. She said I would have to bring her a written doctor’s excuse to get credit for the tour. This is a stupid request showing lack of compassion for the customer. She would not get me a supervisor to discuss the situation. We went back a few days later with a doctor’s excuse from Martinique, written the day after the tour date, and man on the excursion desk said we had waited too long and credit could not be issued. We went to the front desk said the excuse had to be from the ship’s doctor as they could not trust any other doctor’s excuse. No one told us we had to use only the ship’s doctor or that there was a time limit on submitting a request for credit. Poor customer relations. • No written set of rules for procedures on ship. Where does it say we have to use the ship’s doctor for a written excuse to get credit for not going on a shore excursion? Where does it say you have to turn in the excuse within “X” number of days or you are too late to get credit? Poor customer service. • Not being able to bring wine on the ship to be consumed while on the cruise. Common practice on other cruise lines. Have to pay a reasonable corkage fee or allowed to bring “X” number of bottles aboard for free. • Constant smell of garbage at Deck 1, rear staircase, starboard side. • Cooler used to store ice instead of getting it directly out of the machine. Hands can be in contact with the ice and spread infections. Wife came down with diarrhea after day in Grenada (March 5, 2018). Went to doctor in Martinique (March 8th). • Room next to ours used to store stanchions and signs for controlling traffic flow. Workers in the room every night between 2130 and 2230. Wife got up this morning (March 10th) at 0430 as they were making all kinds of noise for 15 minutes. After she confronted them the noise stopped. There is a metal lip at the entrance to this room and that is where a lot of the noise is coming from. Should not store such items in area with passengers as it is very disruptive to sleep. • Almost impossible to open the four draws under the desk area as they stuck so badly. • Not enough hand sanitizers. As an example only one on Deck 3 entry to main dining room. Needed at least only per side. Only three units in the buffet dining room on Deck 9. • Step up in Deck 1 hallway going from center of ship to rear. Should be marked to prevent tripping hazard. • Only instant decaffeinated coffee served in the main dining room for breakfast. No coffee offered after dinner in main dining room. • Assigned seating for the birds. Sat with a nice couple from Germany who knew very little English and we had nothing in common with them. At a table behind us was a couple from Vancouver, BC who were very nice to talk with and we had much in common. We also had an interior seat and would have liked to sit by an outside window or elsewhere in the dining area. Do not like the assigned seating. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The Costa Magica is not the most modern ship in Costa's fleet (2004) but it's still in good condition and probably more importantly it's a happy ship. It has a ship's compliment of just over a thousand and carries just ... Read More
The Costa Magica is not the most modern ship in Costa's fleet (2004) but it's still in good condition and probably more importantly it's a happy ship. It has a ship's compliment of just over a thousand and carries just over two thousand passengers. All of the senior officers including the captain are Italian, while stewards, security, catering etc are provided by mainly Asian staff - all of whom are very friendly and helpful and probably underpaid by EU standards. Costa includes a surcharge in the price to cover tips which means that you don't have to tip the staff but a ten euro 'thank-you' to your steward or waiter at the end of the cruise will be very much appreciated unless you actually believe that the company accountant who dreamed up the surcharge also insisted that it was paid to the people who are looking after you. We took a Mediterranean 10 day cruise that took in Italy, France, Spain and the Canary Islands during late September which meant that there were very few school-age children on board. The passengers were predominantly Italian and French along with a few hundred German, Dutch & Spanish and from what I could make out possibly a dozen British and American. However all of the crew speak English so you can order a drink without having to consult a phrase book. We were lucky enough to have a cabin with a balcony. The cabin was clean, the bed was comfortable, there is a thermostat to control the temperature and there was a couch, desk and plenty of room to stow cases and hang clothing - although if you have a lot it might be worth bringing a few extra coat hangers with you.The shower/toilet was clean with plenty of hot water and towels were provided for the bathroom, and also for use with the on-deck sun loungers. The TV in the cabin broadcast 4 ship's channels giving information on where you are/where you are going together with timings, excursions, what's going on, stuff you can buy etc. The info being in all of the main languages including English.. The rest of the channels are mainly Italian, German and French but there is the ubiquitous BBC World should you need it but no other English language channels - But then you haven't come on a cruise to watch TV have you! Dining - I have to say that the food was much better than I had expected. We took breakfast in the self-service buffet-type restaurant where a good selection of both continental and cooked food was available. The restaurant tended to be very busy for breakfast and (I don't know why this is but it seems to be a world-wide occurrence) there will inevitably be an elderly passenger carrying a tray loaded with more food than they can possibly eat who either stops dead in their tracks in front of you and then looks around as if unsure as to why he/she is there or marches resolutely to the front of the queue to grab a coffee as if their very life depends on it whilst ignoring everyone else. Strangely this only seems to happen at breakfast time and seems to be universal rather than confined to any particular cruise line - if you are going to have some minor irritations it will be with your fellow travelers rather than the staff who seem to have been blessed with an additional 'niceness' gene. The main meal is in the evening at one of the restaurants on board where you will be allocated your seat for the length of the cruise and will keep the same waiter during your time on board. We had originally specified a table for two but on the first night were seated at a table with 4 other people. Having pointed out this out to the staff we were then given a table for two for the rest of the cruise. The evening meal consisted of six courses with a choice of starters, main course and desserts and I have to say that each meal was very good indeed and is the sort of thing that you would find in a good Italian restaurant rather than in a spaghetti house. In between breakfast and the evening meal, brunch, lunch, tea, supper, snacks etc can all be had from cakes to a burger to a roast dinner. When you buy your cruise there is the option to have wines, coffees, beers and spirits included in the price. This is called Brindiamo and it is well worth having unless you intend to drink only water, which of course you won't as you're on holiday. If you intend to drink cocktails every night rather than G&Ts or Barcardis or beers then there is another deal called Piu Gusto which costs a bit more. Also if you really, really must have lobster stuffed with cavier and sprinkled with saffron washed down with Champagne there is a select restaurant where you can pay extra to eat away from the rest of us un-washed masses. Smoking - Is allowed in designated areas and also on individual balconies. Stuff to do on board - Plenty of things for all tastes really, swimming in the (small) pools, open-air hot tubs, dance classes, zumba, shopping, sauna and gym, hairdressers and beauticians. In the evenings there are shows in the theater which range from good to mediocre (not surprising as they are catering to an audience that communicates in perhaps a dozen different languages). a number of bars ranging from dance-hall size to piano bar most of them with music, also a night club/disco, and a casino. Stuff to do ashore - Do your homework before taking an excursion as sometimes you will be better off making your own arrangements rather than paying Costa to do so. For example when we docked in Malaga we took an excursion to a beach which meant a 45 minute coach ride followed by 3 hours sunbathing then 45 minutes back. There was actually an equally good beach within 500 yards of the dock which was as good if not better and we could have simply walked there. Reckon on any transfer times you are given to be twice as long as stated due to the faffing about getting people on transport and if you only end up with three or four hours in port you may be better off either making your own plans or even staying aboard as it means that the jacuzzi isn't crowded and you have a better chance of grabbing a good sun-lounger. A note on leaving and re-boarding the ship: When you first arrive you will be issued with a 'Costa card' this is a card similar to a credit card with a bar-code on it and is used to open your cabin door, pay for any purchases or extras you might want and it allow you to leave and re-enter the ship so there is no need to take your passport ashore, it works very well and is one of those things that you think "I wish I'd thought of that". Dress code - Costa aren't aimed at the high end of the market, but neither are they bargain bucket. They are also European rather than Brit so you won't be allowed in the restaurant for your evening meal wearing an Arsenal shirt, shorts and flip-flops, also you won't have to drape yourself with gold and diamonds while having to listen to Nigel and Joan from Crawley bore you to death telling you how much their house is worth. Thank God. Each day there will be a news sheet delivered to your cabin giving the activities for the following day and suggesting the dress for the evening. It isn't mandatory but can be an enjoyable thing to do. During our cruise the dress code was Town - smart-ish but not over the top. Red and black. White night (Get yourself a white suit from Amazon, it's only about 40 euros and you might never get another chance). Red, white and green (Italian) and Gala (posh evening frock, fancy knickers and uncomfortable heels girls). Disabled access - There were around 20 wheelchair users on board and access did not appear to be a problem. also there was allocated seating for the disabled in the restaurants and by the pools and the staff appeared to be very attentive and helpful. Stuff that went wrong - The battery packed up on the cabin safe and it took 3 days before it was fixed and that was about it. Would we do it again? Yes I think that we probably will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First Costa Cruise after 1 NCL and 3 Celebrity. Only company for Canrian Islands in July, with a very intersting deal for a Balcony "Premium" stateroom. Embarkation was slow and a little chaotic but bags were waiting at our ... Read More
First Costa Cruise after 1 NCL and 3 Celebrity. Only company for Canrian Islands in July, with a very intersting deal for a Balcony "Premium" stateroom. Embarkation was slow and a little chaotic but bags were waiting at our cabin. Cabin kept immaculate by our steward, towels changed daily and beach/pool towels on request. Plenty of storage, surprisingly spacious and a large comfortable bed. Small but adequate balcony. Clean ship. Decor is kitsch, but less in real life than on the pictures... Main restaurant is good.(Italian) food very nice, if not amazing. Portions would be regarded as small by some US guests. Buffet restaurants are noisy and more chaotic. There are lot of "mediterranean" people on this cruise so do not expect straight queuing, and be prepared some times to cope with the crowd... Average food. Continental breakfast in cabin. At the buffet restaurant : no eggs.You have to go to the main restaurant if you want eggs. Very effective room service ( 15/20 minutes). Holiday camp style entertainment at the pool venue. Most of the Theatre shows very amateur but some of them of high quality. Nevertheless lively atmosphere with lot of young and older cruises enjoying themselves in the different bars ; "italian" atmosphere. Be aware that the cruise line is somewhere "money grabbing " : especially on photos/videos and shore excursions. But we always organise our excursions by ourselves : Costa doesn't provide any information on ports... Disembarkation at Savona was rapid. But leaving the port with the local shuttle bus needs nearly one hour Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We sailed from Venice down the Adriatic from Venice and had a two night stay in Venice. We had read very bad reviews about the Costa Magica and as this was our first cruise we were quite nervous. Although we can make some suggestions as we ... Read More
We sailed from Venice down the Adriatic from Venice and had a two night stay in Venice. We had read very bad reviews about the Costa Magica and as this was our first cruise we were quite nervous. Although we can make some suggestions as we did find some faults ,we did have a lovely cruise with a very happy staff and an international mixed group of fellow passengers. Our first surprise was how many of the passengers were in there thirties upwards and the Italians particularly had children with them who all seemed well behaved. We are in our seventies and had expected to be with people of that age- group and older. We enjoyed the lively atmosphere and seeing the young ones enjoying themselves Our cabin with balcony was very nice and kept well by our steward Eduardo who worked from morning till night. We also had a sofa as well as double bed which was appreciated. We were seated in the Esmeralda Restaurant which was difficult to find but was really beautiful with excellent waiter service. Our two Indian waiters were exceptional and one A. Shetty in particular had the most genuine happy smile. If someone ordered a meal and then changed their mind no questions were asked and the meals were hot in spite of the large number of diners. The menu did rather favour Italian dishes, but then it is an Italian ship, but the food was varied -portions only small, but then you could order as many courses as you wanted so would never go hungry. The Italian night was wonderful and we danced with the waiters and nearly every night some music or something else would happen in the dining room. (One night all the lights went out and the waiters had some sort of flares in their hands and then they appeared with large cakes at our tables.) We were also delighted at the speed and efficiency of the lifts and the decor of the ship is lovely with the Italian theme throughout -even the decks are the names of the Italian masters. Our main criticisms would be. a) the self-service restaurant closed very early so anyone who wanted to opt out of formal dining would have to eat very early. I felt there should be always something open for eating as this gives the passenger freedom of movement, particularly on days off the ship (which in our case was everyday except one) The length of time off ship is also only a few hours and therefore this usually means everyone scrambling for meals at the same time.(ie. before they leave the ship) There is an option however to get your meal inc. breakfast served to you in a dining room. We also did not like people smoking with their meals in the outside area near the pool on deck 9 as often the dining rooms were full and we had no choice but to eat there with people smoking -not nice at all. The entertainment in the theatre was good and there are ample bars with all kinds of different entertainment. There is something to do each hour of the day on the ship (quizzes etc) but we personally were quite happy to watch the waves and read from our balcony as it is quite hard to find a quiet corner. We did not get a drinks package as I do not drink alcohol and they would not allow us only one as we were a couple. However we did not find our drinks bill excessive, but do remember you have 8 euros per day service charge per person. All in all we found our first cruise with Costa -fun- not at all 'stuffy' -it is for the people who are prepared to mix and observe other nationalities . We thought it was value for money and we were very happy with the itinary which took us from glorious Venice, to Bari then Greece, Turkey and Dubrovnik. Happy ship! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Having booked our tour and cruise last year on the spur of the moment and only reading the reviews on this site a month or so before departing, I was not really looking forward to it. The complaints made by some people regards the food, ... Read More
Having booked our tour and cruise last year on the spur of the moment and only reading the reviews on this site a month or so before departing, I was not really looking forward to it. The complaints made by some people regards the food, the Italians, the staff. the ship. the disorganisation at embarkation etc. etc. had me dreading the whole thing! Well, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our weeks cruise and I realise a holiday is what you make it and of course it always helps when you meet like minded people and enjoy your fellow travellers company, which we did. Starting with the embarkation, it took us just over an hour from start to finish and our suitcases arrived at our cabin a couple of hours later just in time to dress for dinner. We were on a table of 10, with 4 other couples from our coach tour and it made dinner very pleasant, we all had tales to tell and it was lovely sharing our days experience. The dinner menu was so varied, you would have to be a very fussy eater indeed not to find something you liked from at least 4 courses! My husband is a bit of a traditionalist with food and he managed to put quite a bit away! The Italians at other meals, well yes they are very loud, grab everything, push in and waste a lot of food but we found we breakfasted early, had lunch late (after they had gorged themselves) and we avoided all the mayhem, so there are ways. Other reviews have stated that salad, pizza and burgers were the only thing on offer for lunch and tea but we had some lovely lunch meals, risotto, calzone, chicken, pork to name just a few and there were always rolls, bread and plenty of fillings if that is your preference. We paid for the drinks package and were very glad we did, it means you don't have to think about your bill at the end and although we are not big drinkers, I had my fill of all the cocktails on offer and enjoyed a latte instead of the coffee on tap, much nicer. Our cabin was just standard, adequate for us and Robin our steward was exceptional, each time we left he came in and tidied up (I could have brought him home with me!!) We always found a lounger on deck (even on the day at sea) and if you avoid the pool area you can find a relatively quiet spot. We found all the staff extremely friendly and helpful, plan to keep in touch with Mery from Peru the best drinks waiter on board! The shows were quite good, costumes and sets very professional, they last about 45 mins so ideal to fit into the evening. I wanted to post this and cover as many points as I could, just to reassure other people who may be about to cruise on Magica and perhaps be put off by other reviews. If you enjoy it half as much as us then you will have a good time. I wouldn't hesitate to go on another Costa cruise if the itinerary suited. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
FAMILY BAKGROUND This was a very special cruise for us. We went with our disabled daughter and her disabled husband and two grandchildren as a special treat for the whole family. We chose a cruise as we had three members of the party with ... Read More
FAMILY BAKGROUND This was a very special cruise for us. We went with our disabled daughter and her disabled husband and two grandchildren as a special treat for the whole family. We chose a cruise as we had three members of the party with dietary intolerances and with the limited mobility of two members it was an opportunity to see several interesting cities and countries in a short time and give our grandsons aged nine and thirteen a chance to sample other cultures. CHOICE OF CRUISE We chose Costa mainly on the ports of call and the low cost and the fact the cruise covered the spring bank holiday week. We read all the criticisms but were happy to be on a more relaxed ship with many different nationalities TRAVEL TO VENICE Organising the travelling ourselves was important to cater for the limited energy levels of our disabled passengers. We travelled to Gatwick airport on the first day from Dorset taking five hours and several stops to arrive. We then flew on a BA flight to Venice. Travelling with 2 disabled mobility scooters was fine and we got priority on boarding. The only down side was there was no gluten free food on short flight but we had bought our own snacks with us. We had a free shuttle transfer to the Best Western 'AirVenice' hotel (near Venice) and spent a restful night there with a great breakfast which had gluten free options. We can highly recommend this hotel for cruise stop-over. EMBARKATION The day of the cruise we took a taxi to Venice cruise terminal and had a very smooth embarkation, given priority because of our disabled passengers. The taxi was arranged by the hotel at a much lower rate than had been offered by other taxi companies we tried to book on-line from the UK.. CABINS We were on the 10th deck in two disabled and one inside cabin.There was a welcome pack for our gluten free passenger. All were spacious and well appointed. . The disabled cabins had special status so you could have breakfast or room service without extra charge. The only slight criticism was that the wardrobe space was quite small in the disabled cabins DINING Many aspects of the cruise very really good. The ships staff were friendly and helpful and catered for food intolerances very well. The food was fine. There was some repetition of spaghetti Bolognese and fried chicken fillets but that suited our lactose intolerant nine year old. The octopus stew was divine and all though we ate several courses the portions were small so we did not put on loads of weight. WATER INTO GOLD The one problem we found which we had not anticipated was the policy on non alcoholic drinks. I had read on various blogs that food and water were not allowed to brought onto the ship and that bottle water was costly. But reviewers had written that water coffee and tea were always available at the self service restaurant on deck nine and that tap water could be asked for in the restaurants. In fact there is a new policy this season and tap water is no longer offered in the restaurants so you are forced to purchase bottled water or go without a drink with meals. We sent £100 on bottled water on our 7 day cruise, a cost we had not budgeted for. Unlike other cruise lines there was no free coffee or tea at the end of the meal in the restaurant either. We were not able to eat in the self service buffet because of our food intolerances, so this policy discriminated against people with food allergy. When we complained to the English speaking Costa rep (despite her sympathetic response) she was unable to get this policy eased with the Hotel Manager and Catering Manager on the ship. The self service restaurant also closed the drinks stations down at various times so you had to hunt around to find one open. This is a very strange policy as we had free wine on Gala night and Italian night ( 5 out of 6 on our party were non drinkers) but were denied a glass of free water. We were on a limited budget so the cost of water meant we were not able to buy other soft drinks so the cruise company did not gain any extra income from us. This policy means we are unlikely to travel with Costa cruise line again. The difference in policy for the sit down restaurants and the self service restaurant appears difficult to justify and discriminates against people with serious dietary needs. Due to the medications taken by the disabled members of our party, their drinking water needs were higher than normal with one person needing two large bottles just during the night. We did not feel that Costa Cruises management were in any way empathetic to the problems faced by some disabled passengers in this regard. ACTIVITES There was less activities than other cruise lines. We did take part in a few quizzes but there were no lectures or film shows- I guess catering for so many languages on board made this difficult. However the ports of call took up most of the day and we were always busy. We particularly likes the free sauna and steam room on deck 11. They both had huge picture windows so you could watch the islands passing by as you had a good soak. The pools were very good and the children in particular enjoyed them and the giant slide. CHILDRENS CLUB Our 9 year old enjoyed the children's club and coped with the mixture of different nationalities taking part. They put a blue streak of face paint on his cheek to show he was an English speaker. The activities were varied and interesting for a 9 year old and he soon made friends with other children. ENTERTAINMENT Most of us were too tired to go to the shows but the children enjoyed the Shanghai acrobats and my husband and I saw a couple of the shows which were a very high standard. There was music in several of the bars but most of us were tucked up in bed by 10.30. We loved the Italian night when the waiters sang and danced and waltzed with the passengers. PORTSOF CALL/EXCURSIONS We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and we were not disappointed. With our special needs we did not use the costa excursions. In Athens we hired a stretch limo for 4 hours who took us right up to the entrance of the acropolis and was one third cheaper than the ship's tour. We got in the site for free and used the scary disabled lift up to the top of the acropolis. In Bari we used the ships shuttle nearly 9 euros each to go less than a kilometre, nearly £50 for six passengers!. We took the mini train tour around Bari for ten euros (Children 5 Euros), a big contrast to the Costa shuttle cost for just a few minutes ride. The mini-train tour lasted about 2 hours with an excellent guide. You do not stay on the train but get off at various locations to visit the individual sites like St Nicholas church, cathedral and Castle. In Katakolon we did not go to Olympia but spend a pleasant couple of hours in the local fishing village. Athens was one of the highlights followed by Izmir where we again took a taxi and visited the bazaar. The taxi driver acted as tour guide for no extra fee. It is quite different to have people with varied interests in the party and try to cater for everyone, but we all had a good time. In Dubrovnik there was another expensive Costa shuttle bus - no reduction for children. We loved walking round the town and saw some ladies and men in ethnic costumes singing and dancing in the main square. Our plane home was not until 11 pm so we had all day in Venice which was wonderful and exhausting, but far from easy with two disabled adults in wheelchairs. Public toilets were very difficult to find and not disabled friendly, not to mention the 1.5 Euro cost of a pee!. On holiday on our own, my husband and I usually rush round all the museums archaeological sites and palaces so it was quite refreshing to take things a bit slower and concentrate on one activity in each port. We learnt that everything takes a lot longer with disabled mobility scooters! STAFF AND SERVICE All the staff were very friendly and helpful and the service in the restaurant and elsewhere was very good. INFORMATION On the whole the information on the boat was less clear than on other cruise lines. The public toilets were not marked on the boat plan we received. We were not always sure what dress code we needed for any particular night. DISEMBARKATION This was very smooth. We got off the boat before the appointed time and found our cases easily. We had booked a large taxi to take us to the airport (the same company that the Best Western AirVenice hotel had arranged, and at the same lower cost) where we left our cases and then came back into Venice for the day. Taxis in general on the day were much cheaper than booking on line in advance from the UK and large taxis were available in most towns which could take our group and the mobility scooters. We had a Luggie scooter and a Mobie - both fold down quite small but were very useful on the holiday. HIDDEN COSTS Often the information on the cruise web sites is limited. When comparing companies the hidden costs need to be known and made clear. Costs like non alcoholic drinks, shuttle buses need to be known in advance. Our view is that the hidden costs on Costa Cruises are greater than we have experienced on other cruise lines we have used, including Cunard, P&O and Thompson. This especially applied when paying for six people on short Costa shuttle bus services (no children's discounts) and obtaining on-board drinking water. All in all a good holiday experience only marred by the higher than expected hidden costs and intractable on-board senior management that would not accommodate special needs. 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Sail Date May 2014
This was our first cruise out of Rome. So many factors were involved and things to worry about. I had done my share of research here and other boards. This was our thirtieth wedding anniversary, our kids paid for our cruise. We were ... Read More
This was our first cruise out of Rome. So many factors were involved and things to worry about. I had done my share of research here and other boards. This was our thirtieth wedding anniversary, our kids paid for our cruise. We were staying close to Rome Termini Station. Walked there with our rolled luggage and boarded a train ( Platform # 24,25, or 26) Tickets were about 8 Euro for first class. With in an hour we were at Civtavecchia station. The cruise port is about 10 minute walk. By the time we got there we were little sweaty. The shuttle bus was waiting there to take us to the Magica ship. Luckily it was not a embarkation port so not too much lines.The ship took off in time and spent a night with little sea sickness. Next day We were in Savona. We had purchased cruise excursion from Costa Magica to take us to Principality of Monaco. I was told by several cruisers to take the ship excursions only. Well to my surprise a letter was waiting for me from Costa Magica. That there were not enough English speaking takers for this excursions and hence it was canceled. I would be credited in a form of a ship credit. The majority of passengers were Germans, and Italians. More about them latter. We were disappointed. As we were taking a six hour excursion we had not researched the port. We managed to get out and walked around in town. Luckily everything including the fort, were in the walking distance. There was a liquor store and we manged to buy a bottle of wine. Most of the ships crew were from India and few learned greetings did wonders with them. Our next port was Naples. We were supposed to be there from 1 PM to 6 PM only, and it was a cold rainy day. We had planned to taking a train to Pompeii, but cold and rainy weather prevented that. We found other couple to share a cab to Pompeii. Cost was 22 euro per person. It was about 40 minute drive. The driver waited outside till we returned. We made a mistake in not hiring a guide. Without the guide they were all the ruins of old buildings.We were back in our cruise with in 3 hours. PLEASE BRING UMBRELLA OR A PONCHO WITH YOU. Should have found the best pizza in Italy there but rain and scare of pick-pockets, we missed it. Next day we were at the sea on the way to Athens. Costa Magica had entertainment every night, twice a night. It was adequate. Opera singers were magnificent. Cruise director repeated the same announcement in 4 languages. English speaking people were in minority. After a day at sea we were in ATHENS. In this port I had taken a chance and had booked excursion with outside excursion company. Cruisingexcursions.com had sold me 3 excursions for 100 pounds( It is an company out of London). I was cringing that they would also cancel our excursion, but to our delight a nice car with a driver and English speaking guide were waiting for us.They took us on a ( Private!!!) tour of the city for next three hours.Excursion company did not cancel the excursion because only two of us were signed up with them. Grephiti all over the city. People do not seem to be happy. Eat lunch there but not that great. I think we get better Italian or Greek food in America. ( Please do not throw stones at me, this is my observation). Bottle of wine was shared with friend that night. Next day we were in Katakolon (?) Olympia Greece. This was Costas 65th anniversary. The port had arranged for traditional Greek dancers to welcome us. This was our 2nd excursion booked with Cruisingexcursions.com. There was a Norwegian Jade also embarked at the port, this time we had enough people for them to have a coach. It was waiting for us. They took us to Olympia and walked around the ruins. Can't think people were so advanced in those days too. We returned with in 4 hours. Now the Greek dancers were in full swing. Wife had bought Aurso ( Greek Liquor). Wish the Costa would serve some Greek food. But majority of passengers were Germans and Europeans. So the food was very bland. Salt and black pepper was the extent of the spice. I had read in the posts here that the breakfast and lunch would be served in a buffet style. That the Italians will run you over. Our experience was opposite, Italians were okay, if you tried to talk to them in few Italian words, but it was the Germans who were rude and crude. They acted like they own the ship. I spoke to staff and other passengers about it. I guess they are bailing out he Italians and Greeks, they probably think they own them. Please again do not throw stones, these are my personal observations. My thinking was that, I was going to Italy and Greece, I need to be respectful to them and their culture. By now someone else had copied us and bought in a bottle of Vodka. We had purchased Boys and Girls card, which allowed us 20 non alcoholic drinks for 50 Euro. It came in handy with Vodka. The normal drink price with tip was close to 8 Euro. All Inclusive drink card was sold for 160 Euro but we had to buy it for everyone in the cabin. We opted out. Regarding the buffet, if you want to, you can have breakfast served to you at same restaurant were you at dinner and same with lunch. The hours were restricted, so check them. The staff on the cruise was very efficient and nice. Same two waiters took care of us for 8 nights. We left them extra tips and for the cooks too. The food was eatable. There were 5 courses but nothing to write home about. Mrs. and I are very good cook, so it takes a lot to impress us. One night we requested Indian food, it was much better. Our next stop was Corfu Island in Greece. This was our third excursion with Cruisingexcursions.com. We walked out of the ship, went out of passport control. The passport was always with cruise ship. We had copied the picture pages in color, had emailed to our our self, kids and carried copy with us. To our surprise a driver and English speaking guide were waiting for us. It was a mini bus.They took us to the other side of island, beautiful place. Spring was about to come in full swing. The restaurant in the top of the mountain was fantastic. It was too early to eat there. by now we were getting used to drinking Capchinno (?). Our only complain was that it was served luke warm and not hot. The young guide took us all over the Island of Corfu. Out of all places I visited, I would like to go the that island again. It had past influence of Greeks, Romans, Venicians, and English. There were all different architecture, beaches that were totally different than here in Florida. We spent close to 4.5 hours with this young lady. She was delightful, she was from Chec Republic married to Greek and was very knowledgeable of Greek History. It was like a private tour at little expense. I am pretty sure that if I had booked these tours with Costa they would have been all cancelled. Latter on that night I went to Cruise Excursion desk to complain about our cancelled excursions. Attitude of the young lady behind the counter was that " what are you complaining about, you got you money back". When I told her about my experience with English company, she cared less. I as a business man tried to tell her that they could have offered us excursions with Italians may be at lesser price. We would have gone for it. But this was not USA, were customer service in a service industry is a Mantra. In my posts I had asked if there were self serve laundry was available on the ship. There was non. First 5 days, if you washed any of your clothes, 1.50 euro for underwear and so on, but on 6th day they ran a special of washing 25 pieces for 20 Euro. We went for it. Check with your cabin steward for this. Our next stop was in Dubrovnik. We were there at 8 AM. We had to pick up our passport, pay 8 Euro for a round trip to old town. People in this town were more English speaking. Walked around the old fort. Mrs was tired of all walking. The ship was departing at 1 PM. This was a German Lunch buffet day. Whole roasted pig, sour croute, potato salad and German beer was served. It was a riot. Went back to Cabin for an hour. By now I was craving for a good ole burger. Did found one. Satisfied at last. This was our last evening on the ship. On distant there were many islands, wondering what they were. It was very cloudy. I was hopping to go on deck and look for the stars but no luck. We put things off to do it next day, but it never comes. Next morning we were in Venice. Disembarkation was kind of confusing but went easy.We had booked couple of nights at Hilton Malino Stucky hotel. It was easiest hotel to get to. We took a ALI LAGAUNA shuttle from cruise terminal ( 10 minute walk) at cost of 8 euro. Our hotel was a first stop. They dropped us at the front door. Same shuttle boat can take you to Airport ( cost 15 Euro, and takes about 1 hour or more.) In all our cruise was great. We could not have gone to all these ports without to have to pack and unpack once. We thank all the crew members from India, Indonesia and from Philippines. They were the stars. In all this was very relaxing cruise and well worth the money we paid. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
The selection of this cruise was 1. By season, as we can only close our own place certain times of the year, 2. by itinerary, 3. By home port, from Bavaria to Savona it is a 1 day drive, and 4. yes the price did play its part when deciding ... Read More
The selection of this cruise was 1. By season, as we can only close our own place certain times of the year, 2. by itinerary, 3. By home port, from Bavaria to Savona it is a 1 day drive, and 4. yes the price did play its part when deciding between candidates. My parents (DH's parents in law) paid for the cruise as a gift this was not foreseen but a gift very much appreciated. As a result they booked through the Costa Antwerp (Benelux) callcentre as it serves Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands where they live. Epic fail: the callcentre has trouble communicating in Dutch, they are essentially francophone... and since then all communications came in French (in which we are very very rusty) or in Italian (which to us is all but incomprehensible). Epic fail #2: the website loses all your details once you put them in. And we tried several times. In the end we got lucky once, but the parents did not, so had to fill in the papers again by hand in Savona. Epic Fail #3: when the cabin assignments came (we had booked 2 identical standard insides, as we do not tend to spend much time in there anyway), they were 8239 (deck 8, starboard almost all the way forward) and 1414, (deck 1, port side, almost all the way aft) They could not have put us further apart if they tried; and they were unwilling to change us to 2 cabins remotely together or even near the same elevator shaft. I mean we are all adults and adjacent cabins are not needed, but being the entire length, the width, AND the height of the ship apart is surely over the top? In the end we were instructed to ask at Guest services onboard. Upon arrival at the port, we were directed the wrong way down a 1-way lane, almost causing a head-on collision with a shuttle bus, and then our pre booked valet parking was nowhere to be found. After losing our temper with a parking attendant, we were directed to the right place. In the terminal, we got priority boarding to be able to ask about a cabin change. Very nice. On board, we got a very blunt NO. The ship was allegedly fully booked. We now know that there are two standard answers of guest services on board - sometimes even before you finish your sentence. The whole attitude is "Oh why don't you just go away". After unpacking we proceeded to have a look around Costa Magica and it is a very nice ship, if sometimes a bit OTT. Then to the muster drill which was very thorough, and very polite but firm with those who thought they should be exempt. When we met the parents, they told us that their cabin steward did not understand why we could not be together since his whole corridor was basically empty. Father and daughter went back to guest services, where we said that we were furious about being lied to, the ship was far from full. One employee said rudely to the other in Italian: "they booked a cheap inside, I am surely not going to do anything about this, and if I start moving them everybody will want to move". I understand some basic Italian and translated in English to my father. My father then even volunteered to pay for an upgrade, but they insisted this was not possible either. Instead of being ashamed that we had understood what they said, we were still being treated as second rate citizens. The whole attitude for the duration of the cruise at the guest relations desk was "I don't know, I don't care and why don't you just go away".The service in the restaurant and by the cabin attendant was exemplary, really friendly and correct. The cabin was spotlessly clean and everything was in working order. In my parents' cabin there was a TL-light which started flashing in the bathroom during the cruise, this was immediately fixed and they even received a phone call later in the day to check if everything was ok now. The food in the restaurant was fabulous. The portions are very small, but this allows you to sample all the 7 courses. Note: the buffet is closed in the evening during the meal times in the main dining rooms, you can get pizza until 6 pm and after 9.30 pm, but that is it. If you are a buffet diner, do not go on Costa. We found all the staff to speak english, italian and at least 1 other language. Shows: a bit loud (the volume level), but not badly produced and taking into consideration that when there was spoken content they tried to do text in 5 languages, still 'all right'. That said, the shows just were not as entertaining as on other cruises, and were at just under 45 minutes a bit short. They were also squeezed in between early and late dinner seatings making people rush in from dessert of their early seating, or rush out early not to keep their tablemates waiting for the late seating. If we do not sail Costa again it will be because of the reservation/ guest service desk experience. The operational side excepting the front desk of the ship runs very well, but other lines in our opinion can match that experience without the drawbacks. If you are not dealing with the Antwerp callcentre, your experience with the reservation department might differ from ours. Whether the front desk of Magica is representative of the line as a whole? We would guess so, as it was most of the team reacting as they did, but who knows, if we do take another Costa cruise they might show us different. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was the fourth time we had booked a cruise but the first time we managed to actually embark. Previous cruises were aborted due to cold feet, illness and snow.The GoodThe flights on BA and the embarkation process in Savona went ... Read More
This was the fourth time we had booked a cruise but the first time we managed to actually embark. Previous cruises were aborted due to cold feet, illness and snow.The GoodThe flights on BA and the embarkation process in Savona went smoothly with very little queuing. The ship is large with plenty of hiding places so only felt crowded between evening meal sittings when the bars get busy. Information was pretty good with a newsletter delivered to your cabin every evening.The staff are very friendly and helpful despite the long hours they work and the cruising public they have to deal with.We were travelling on a low budget so had an inside cabin on the lowest deck at the front of the ship. This working out fine as we were out most of the time, if a little noisy when the shipped docked due to the side thrusters being nearby.The food is adequate given the number of people on board. The restaurants are OK - we dined in the Portofino restaurant with 4 other Brits. You are usually allocated a table with people who speak the same language. The Bellagio buffet was pretty good with usually something to suit every taste, but get there early or late to avoid the crowds. There is also a grill serving junk food for those who need it. We purchased the X1 drinks package through Costa before we sailed. This cost around £80 but allows you unlimited drinks at meal times. It states drinks by the glass but we were given a bottle of wine and water at each evening meal so it worked out as a good deal. It does not seem to be promoted on the Costa website or if it is not easy to find! When embarking we also bought the packages for soft drinks which we fully utilised and the one for water which we didn't. Be aware that there are drinking water taps onboard, which you can use to fill up your bottlesThe theatre entertainment was generally good - not London West end but professionally produced shows with the exception of the staff production on the final night. If you prefer a seat in the upper tiers arrive early.The organised tours were mostly good if expensive. So much depends on the guide assigned to your group. They were OK but one was very difficult to understand and they had to give information in at least two languages so everything took longer. Next time we will do our own thing and use the shuttle buses, which operate at every port of call and charge a few euros to go into town. Incidentally, we are now experts on cathedrals in the western med.The BadThere was a mess up with the restaurant allocation at the start. A card is left in your cabin giving the table and restaurant allocation. Ours indicated the restaurant Smeralda at the rear of the ship. When we arrived our table was occupied! After about 20 mins of furious keyboard tapping and discussions we were finally directed to the correct table in the Portofino restaurant.We tried the Club Vincenza fine dining restaurant one evening but it was not worth the extra 20 euro p/p charge. My wife's lamb was tough and the sauce and potatoes very salty. The loo in our cabin stopped flushing twice but was quickly fixed.The ship is not easy to navigate initially with confusing signs at the lifts. You are never sure which way you are facing on the ship. We weren't alone in this respect!There appears to be no air conditioning so bars and restaurants were often very warm, I dread to think what they would be like in summer.The majority of the passengers were Italian with Germans, French, other Europeans and quite a few Americans. The Brits were in a distinct minority. The Europeans don't do queuing, so be prepared for a bit of shoulder barging to get your own way or just chill out and let them get on with it, which is what we did.Italians are extremely noisy with only 2 volumes - loud and extremely loud. If you value you eardrums try to find a table away from large groups. They also invade your personal space standing over your shoulder and shouting to friends and family and pushing recliners hard up against yours on the sun decks.The UglyThere is nothing exceptionally bad to report. My wife had a bit of a dispute with a large Italian, who wanted our theatre seats for his family. She told him in no uncertain terms to shift and he went of muttering about the English! Needless to say, I kept out of the argument to protect my health. Best policy is to have a laugh about the customs of our EU friends. Vive la difference!We enjoyed our cruise on the Costa Magica and are now looking forward to Christmas in Australia and New Zealand on the Diamond Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is ... Read More
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is small and was unorganized but fortunately because it was January it was not too bad to get through. We got on and the crew were all very nice and almost all of them spoke English. Our cabin was very spacious and had a large space like a window sill for my 3 year old to sit in and watch the ocean. They provided a crib and we had a twin bed and still had plenty of room to get around. Our steward was more than accommodating but finding him sometimes was difficult but others were more than helpful to get him in when we needed him. The ship is very pretty it reminded me of a Carnival ship but less flashy but nicer than a Princess ship. There were not alot of activities to do onboard during the day on the ship but because we had a port to go into each day we were ok with that. They do have a round the clock kids room that we took the kids to and they really liked that. Most of the activities that were offered were fitness related like dancing or aerobics. The food in the buffet was ok... breakfast was good, there were some traditional American eats like pancakes, waffles,cereal and bacon and eggs every day. Alot of meats and cheeses and a fish dish each morning! The afternoon and evening buffet offered hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and other finger foods. All ok, nothing spectacular. The dinners in the dining room were much better but I have to say that Carnival has better food. We bought a wine and water package for 99 euros and that was the best way to go for us. It gave us 6 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of water and that lasted the entire cruise. The reviews about getting around on the ship are over exaggerated. Every cruise I have taken is like this. You just have to get it figured out and remember what elevators go where. We feel that by the end of every cruise that we have finally figured it out! So I think that is normal. There are alot of Italians and other Europeans on board and some are rude but so are Americans. I just pushed back when they pushed me and that seemed to work. That only happened a couple of times. For a layed back culture they sure are in a hurray to cut you off in the food lines or to get on and off the ship. Its actually quite funny. I just let them cut. We had our 9 month old daughter and that brought alot of positive attention. Everyone loves a baby! Actually there were ALOT of kids and babies on this cruise. I was surprised. Getting on and off for port tours was easy. This cruise has embarking and disembarking in 3 different ports so it can get crowded at times in the atrium. But they seem to be pretty organized with all that going on. They only thing I dont care for was the smoking section in the atrium. But Europeans are very much into smoking and was expected. Its just stinky and I hated walking through it every day. The Tours offered were nice. We had to deal with the riots in Tunisia and therefore were sent to Corsica instead and then in Marseille there was a strike and had to be rerouted to Tulon which put us about an hour away but those situations were out of Costa's control so I cant blame them. Overall we had a great time. Disembarking was not hard to get through either. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and ... Read More
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and more spacious than we had on both NCL and Princess. As stated by others who have been on the Magica, it took the whole cruise to figure out how to navigate the ship. I highly recommend that you get yourself one of the larger maps of the ship that the information desk and learn how to find your way around. One of the cruise critic members posted a very good explanation on how the cabins were numbered and the decks broken up. The most important lesson he gave was to look at the picture of the ship located at each elevator. It will indicate where you are and what direction the ship is pointed. When you get off the elevator look to see which direction you need to go so you won't get too frustrated trying to find your way to dinner. The Magica had two seatings for dinner. We chose the first seating and found our table mates extremely pleasant. We were all English speaking and enjoyed each other's company. In fact, the evening meal was the best part of the day with these folks. The other valuable thing I learned on cruise critic was about the 1X package for beer, wine, and water. We called our agent who called Costa and got the package for us. It saved us lots of money on drinks. This package allows you beer or wine by the glass and bottled water at lunch and dinner only. We tipped our waiter at the beginning and during the cruise and he kept our glasses filled. He also poured some for our dinner partners at our request. So each night at dinner we went through one or two bottles of wine and several of water. Big savings there. The breakfast buffet was not as expansive as is on NCL or Princess but it was adequate. We did not take advantage of the buffet for lunch so I am unable to comment. Dinner most nights was good but not outstanding. We did have one evening when they served lamb chops that everyone asked for seconds. We liked the pasta and the bread was great. If you wanted something in between meals you had to find the grill which was located at the very back of the ship where the indoor pool is. It was not like NCL where you could find food at all hours. One of the reasons that you don't see many obese Europeans, the portions were normal sized instead of supersized. I was happy about that. The coffee was only fair however you could buy cappuncino's and lattes that were pretty good. We got our "coffee fix" at the various ports where the espressos were great. The staff worked seven days a week, and usually stayed on the ship for several months. They all spoke excellent English. In addition there was an English speaking "host" by the name of Sean who was available at certain hours if you had questions. He wasn't very helpful with finding out about doing the ports on your own. He said that his job was to support the excursion so he was unwilling to give info on how to get around on public transportation.I surprized and disappointed since I found that the cruise director on NCL to be more than happy to tell you about what cheaper options available once on shore. Embarking and disembarking was the easiest of all. They had everything ready when you got there so all you had to do was go through screening and show you E tickets. Once you got to your room you found your room keys and info on setting up your credit card as well as the daily itinerary in English. They also provided a daily synopsis of the world news in the form of a little newspaper that was created on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
English speaking customers will need to get used to the fact that ALL communication comes in 4-5 languages before you know what it is that they are trying to tell you. The shore excursions are all very good, but you have to make sure you ... Read More
English speaking customers will need to get used to the fact that ALL communication comes in 4-5 languages before you know what it is that they are trying to tell you. The shore excursions are all very good, but you have to make sure you are in an English spoken tour beforehand. Food is acceptable. Dinner serving size are smaller but is just perfect for me. The buffet is crowded and the self-serving coffee and juice machines don't work sometimes. But what I really want to compliment Costa is their great customer care to those of us who happened to be stuck in Genoa, Italy when most of the European airports shut down due to Iceland's volcano ash problem. For those who booked their air through Costa, Costa put us at the 4-star Bristol Palace Hotel which covers full breakfast daily, and assigned us to dine at a great local restaurant for lunch and dinner. As the airports gradually opened up, people got re-booked to go home. We ended up to stay at Genoa for 6 extra nights and we do appreciate what Costa has done for us. A+ to Costa's customer care! 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
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
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
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
Review of our Costa Magica cruise 2/4/07 - 2/11/07. We were in cabin 7422 aft corner cabin and our friends were in cabin 7326 you can view these cabins in my picture link. First off the embarkation was long.... Once though security we ... Read More
Review of our Costa Magica cruise 2/4/07 - 2/11/07. We were in cabin 7422 aft corner cabin and our friends were in cabin 7326 you can view these cabins in my picture link. First off the embarkation was long.... Once though security we were put in line for the Suite passengers and thought it would move quickly. It did not! They only had 2 people working the line and someone had decided to do an upgrade, which took one girl just over a half an hour to process this request. People in line were getting quiet upset, but what the heck your on vacation and you will be on soon.... When it was our turn things went very smoothly and quickly, I am very organize so I had tickets, passports and credit card in hand when it was our turn and it only took a matter of 3-4 minutes and we were on our way for the first photo op... Once on board we went straight to our cabin to check out the balcony and room. We are use to Suites and this was smaller than what we normally have BUT the balcony made up for it, I took plenty of pictures. A few things this room lack was a couch and a bathtub. You only have 1-chair (we did ask for another and they brought it but we really had to put our foot down about it). The refrigerator was stocked but make sure you look at the little bottles of booze, 2 of ours were empty (they were Canadian Whiskey which we do not drink) never realized until we put everything back in and they charge us for them. Yes did argue the point but because we did not say anything in the beginning they would not take it off our bill which they really should have after what happened one night on the deck (I will explain a little later). Also the table next to the bed are very small you really can't put anything on them and my husband needs a breathing machine when he sleeps so we ordered up another small table and they brought that. If you need anything like that plugged in make sure you bring a plug converter, they had to send maintenance up to convert it for us. On the balcony we had 2 nice wooden lounge chairs with a table in between, we also had 2 loungers the same as the ones around the pool. The deck was in very poor shape though, very dirty and the suet from the smoke stacks was very noticeable a few times I forgot to put a towel on my chair and got my shorts dirty a few times. Then there was one night we were sitting out on the deck at about 12:00 AM lights were out except we had a little light shinning down from the deck above when all of the sudden we saw (I hate to say it) 2-cock roaches. I ran in a grab one of DH shoes and try to kill one of them but they got away. I did call down to the front desk and they did spray my deck with bug spray the next day when we were in Grand Turk (I could see them from the beach spraying the deck). When we got back to our cabin that afternoon the spray was all over the windows and door so I called up the front desk again and they came and washed the windows. When this happened they did not seem surprise and they never checked back with us to make sure every thing was okay and never saw the little critters again. Makes me wonder..... The only other problems was our room stewardess, she was not happy. If we asked for anything it was really putting her out. One night our friends were coming down to have a cocktail before dinner on the balcony and they said she was out in the hall scream at someone over the phone. Don't know what it was all about but it did happen another night and we just ignored it. Our waiter Earl was not a happy camper either but his assistance John was a really nice guy. We did have quiet a few issues with them put fluffed them off, we were there to have fun so we did i.e. pour our own wine and water, never pulled out chairs for the ladies and would leave a lot of dishes on the table when we were done. The food was excellent, always hot and tasty. No we did not have lobster, we are from Cape Cod and are divers, and DH gets them fresh out of Chatham when he goes diving. We did not eat much of the deserts because we were always to full. We did enjoy the dancing and singing in the dinning room. There was this one incident regarding the pillows from the pillow menu that our friends in 7326 were able to get because they had the Suite.... Costa does have pillow nazi's, our friends had order 4 pillows from the pillow menu (2 for them and 2 for us) you do not get them in a mini-suite. When they received them they called me up to come get mine, when I picked them up and proceed down the hall back to my cabin the room stewards told me I had to give them back because I was not in a Suite and therefore I could not have them. After returning them to our friends we decided to wait until we return late from the shows to retrieve them for our room. We kept them the rest of the trip and hid them every morning in the closet so our stewardess would not take them. The day of disembarkation we returned them to our friends cabin as the other room stewards watch and we snickered all the way back to our cabin, we felt like kids.... What shows we did see were fabulous, love the Newlywed not so Newlywed game that was a gas. The rest of the crew on board were fabulous, very nice and welcoming. They really get you involved in fun and games. We did have about 50-60% European's on board, which I found to be rude, very pushy and at times overbearing. Again we tried to ignore them because we were here to have fun and we did have a great time. Ports I will go over very briefly, with all the cruises we have taken we have been to these ports before. San Juan, we ended up at Senior Frogs and had a blast (expensive but fun). St. Thomas, we just walk the streets and just enjoy people watching. When you have 4-5 ships in all at once you never know what you are going to see and the entertainment is free. Also stop at Palm Passage Bar and had a cold one! Dominic Republic, just stay on the ship and had some down time. Grand Turk, we were really looking forward to Margaritaville again but to our surprise it was election day and there was NO alcohol to be served so we just hung out by the pool and people watched again..... Would I do Costa again? Yes for the price I paid! Would I recommend it to my family and friends only if they go with an open mind. I feel the bug issue should have been followed up with us but then again I guess they figure we hadn't called them so it must be okay! If you have any other questions feel free to ask away... Most of all if you are nervous about Costa please just go with an VERY OPEN mind and enjoy the fun! [URL=http://travel.webshots.com/album/557762062qZKoir][IMG]http://thumb3.webshots.net/t/59/759/1/76/24/2944176240054551263ejruKv_th.jpg[/IMG][/URL] Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
We sailed on the Costa Magica in February 2007 along with two other couples, one of which were first time cruisers. We drove to Fort Lauderdale and spent a couple of nights in Hollywood, FL prior to sailing. Upon arriving at the cruise ... Read More
We sailed on the Costa Magica in February 2007 along with two other couples, one of which were first time cruisers. We drove to Fort Lauderdale and spent a couple of nights in Hollywood, FL prior to sailing. Upon arriving at the cruise port, we found the lines for embarkation to be incredibly short, which was a surprise to us, as this was a sold out cruise. We literally were checked in and actually exploring the ship within 10 minutes! Way to go Costa embarkation staff. We booked an inside stateroom, which was very roomy and nicely decorated. We requested additional mattresses for our bed and they were brought to us immediately. The ship's interior is beautiful. However, most of the public areas are centered on one deck, which made navigating the ship an absolute nightmare with so many people crammed into the same location. Service on board, for the most part, was good. I was somewhat disappointed with the photography on board the ship. I like to purchase the pictures of my husband and I all dressed up, and found this to be an issue for this cruise. First, the photographers were not very creative with the formal poses. We ended up with 7 days of the same poses, just different backgrounds and clothing. It would have been nice to have some variety. The food on board was very good to excellent depending on your selection. There is always the option of having spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce, which was the best that I have ever had. There is also a large variety of seafood options, which thrilled my husband. We had 6 of us at our dinner table and each night, we ordered all of the desserts, placed them in the center of the table, and made sort of a "dessert sampler" out of them for each person. It was really nice to get to try a small amount of everything. This method seemed to amuse our waiter and by the 3rd night, we no longer had to ask, the waiter simply sat it all up for us. Our cruise sailed to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Grand Turk. The itinerary was fun and I cannot say enough about Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. Our family had so much fun climbing the waterfall, and what great exercise after eating all of that cruise food! We had sailed with Costa Cruise Lines before on the Costa Atlantica. Onboard activities were plentiful, but the special events onboard basically mirrored those on the Atlantica (Italian night, toga night, etc.) It would have been nice to have had some new activities to do that we had not been involved in before. On the final morning, disembarkation went smoothly, and there was a nice breakfast served before leaving. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
This is our second cruise with the other being on the Celebrity Infinity. We were a little afraid after reading some reviews on here but we had a wonderful week. We arrived at the port at approx 1:15 PM. We waited in line less than 10 ... Read More
This is our second cruise with the other being on the Celebrity Infinity. We were a little afraid after reading some reviews on here but we had a wonderful week. We arrived at the port at approx 1:15 PM. We waited in line less than 10 minutes. After checking in and registering our credit card we went right to our room. We were in a Category 8, #6273 which is a balcony room. We met our cabin steward Carlos. We asked him for a second mattress, which he brought to us right away. We also asked him to open the balcony partition between our cabin and the couple cruising with us next door. This was done during the first night. The cabin was huge. The closets were great and even the bathroom was much bigger than expected. The balcony was nice and made even better by the open partition. We left to explore the ship. It was beautiful and sometimes gaudy (the dining rooms) but it was always clean. It took a bit to learn how to get to the dining room but after one or two trips, we had it down. We used the adult pool/hot tubs almost every day and usually ate breakfast in that area. We did not see any kids in there. We also used the steam room (heaven) and the sauna as well as the exercise area. These are all free to use. We went to the Capri lounge quite often as well as the piano bar. Both were great. The food was pretty good. I have food allergies (shell fish mainly) and I am fairly picky. I used the always available menu one night but otherwise I did great. I thought the pasta was wonderful. Our only complaint would be with the steaks. They were either under or overcooked and fatty. It's just not what I am used to. Our waiter (Antao) was great as was his assistant. The staff was wonderful. The only grouch we ran into was a woman ringing up our photo purchase. She did not say a word to us. The customer service staff was great. I had a problem with my card several times and they were always friendly when fixing it again. The shows were all good. We really enjoyed the salute to movies and the visual comedian. The acrobats were just ok to us. We did not take any excursions through the ship. We were too late for the one on Grand Turk. I wish we had done that. We will be faster the next time. We only tendered once and it was executed very smoothly. Our only real negative came when we left the ship. We had taken advantage of the early disembarkation. We were off of the ship around 7:30 AM. We needed to take a taxi to the airport and there was not a single cab around. After waiting with approx 60-80 other people wanting a taxi, we finally walked away from our pier to a corner and were able to hail one there. The cab driver said the port was not letting taxis in to our area. He also said it was a long wait just to get in. We do not blame this on Costa, but it will make us rethink what port we cruise out of next. All in all we had a great cruise. We met some wonderful people and would not hesitate to take Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
Christmas 2006 cruise (Dec. 23rd to 30th): Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, St. Thomas, Catalina Island D. R., Grand Turk, Fort Lauderdale This was the 3rd cruise for my wife and myself (we previously traveled on the Caribbean Princess and ... Read More
Christmas 2006 cruise (Dec. 23rd to 30th): Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, St. Thomas, Catalina Island D. R., Grand Turk, Fort Lauderdale This was the 3rd cruise for my wife and myself (we previously traveled on the Caribbean Princess and Celebrity Millennium), and the first for my sister-in-law. It was our first cruise over Christmas, and we also traveled with our 7-month old son. We booked the cruise last-minute (about 8 days before departure), and thus didn't receive any cruise documents, nor were we assigned a room. We had no information except the online documents from our cruise agent, which basically said we had paid for a cruise. Bear in mind that when traveling with an infant, a full fare is paid, as children do not travel for free (only Disney allows children younger than 2 years to travel for free), even if they don't use any of the ship's facilities. Flying anywhere on the 23rd was difficult, as there were delays everywhere. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 3:50, and it was scheduled that the cruise would leave at 4:30. We were worried that we wouldn't make it (although the people from Costa said that they would not leave without us), and after taking a taxi to Port Everglades ($15), we arrived at 4:20 at the cruise terminal. The baggage stewards were very friendly, and did not hit us up for tips, which was nice. In order to tag our baggage, they had to look up our names on the manifest, which was when we found out our room number. We entered an empty cruise terminal, expecting to sail smoothly onto the ship. That didn't happen. Embarkation Grade: D- We were shuffled into a line with about 100 people to pass carry-on security, after which we were led up an escalator to a room with more than 300 people waiting to be checked in. We waited for about an hour and a half in line, and when we did get to the desk, they couldn't check us in without our room number (good thing I remembered it), and seemed very disorganized; which I expected from reading other's reviews. While leaving towards the ship, I heard that there were 190 people who hadn't checked in yet; I guess it was true, because we didn't leave port until 7:30. The Room Grade: A We stayed in two interior rooms, 7305 and 7311. The space was a little tight in our room, which came with a crib, but my sister-in-law's room seemed very comfortable in terms of space. The beds were firm, and it was no problem to use the minibar to keep formula and baby food. It was also nice to keep our luggage and bags underneath the bed. The closet space is adequate, and the bathroom was well equipped (and was exactly the same as those on Caribbean Princess). I really liked the showers, and didn't feel cramped in them at all. The toilets, however, did have a 'smell' that I've heard others refer to, and once even stopped flushing (this was fixed, avoiding a potentially embarrassing situation). For some reason, though, the hair dryer is in a drawer in the bedroom area, rather than in the bathroom. One tip I've learned from other cruisers in interior rooms is to tune your TV to the ship's hull camera channel at night, so you can see what it's like outside, and even get sunlight at daybreak. This is possible on Magica, but when the channel flips from camera to camera, it flashes brightly, so you can't really sleep with it on. The Ship Grade: A The Costa Magica is a big ship, and is beautifully decorated in an 'Italian' style. Everything looks new and nice, although some rooms are borderline gaudy. The main atrium is comparable to other ships, if not nicer, and the window elevators are a nice touch. Although there were many elevators, it always seemed that there were not enough, and it seemed to take forever to get one, especially at busy times, and during embarkation from shore stops. The onboard shopping was nothing to shout about, and it seems like they've wasted an entire floor of the atrium for selling and displaying photos. The public rooms and lounges didn't seem to be used very much, and were often empty, or contained an entertainer singing to a handful of people. Although they were all very nice, some of the public rooms were hard to find, and were missed by my wife and sister-in-law. Some of the public rooms lack a descriptive name, like the arcade, so finding them took some exploring; but just asking a crew member would clear it up (I like to explore, personally). The lido and upper decks were quite nice, although some of the decks were cramped with lounge chairs, making it difficult to get by. The pools always seemed crowded, and over Christmas, crowded with kids, who really shouldn't be in the hot tubs and adult pools. The water in the pools was pretty cold, so we didn't use them very much. The outdoor buffet and grill were pretty standard stuff, burgers and fries and the buffets/grills etc. were The Food: Grade: C+ The quality of food on the ship was well below what we enjoyed on the Princess and Celebrity cruises. The food was often bland, over- or undercooked, and I expected much better pasta dishes from an Italian cruiseline. The entrees and appetizers weren’t anything to shout about, however, the Caesar salad and soups were excellent (the cold soups, in particular were outstanding). Concerning food allergies, the staff are excellent at accommodating the needs of those with allergies. They have several menus for a variety of food restrictions, so virtually anyone can be accommodated. The buffet foods were also average, with the ‘international’ foods seeming less than authentic. The buffets weren’t open all the time, like on other lines, however, one could always get food at either the lido grill or buffet, if needed. One touch that we really enjoyed was the soft serve ice cream machines open in the lido buffet. I have never eaten so much ice cream in my life. Nice touch. In addition, my wife and sister in law enjoyed the freshly baked pizza, which seemed to disappear the instant it came out of the oven. As for breakfast, the standard fare was available, basically the same thing everyday (the croissants were excellent). One thing which I noticed was that smoked salmon was not available everyday, but there was always a fish of the day. Entertainment: Grade: A The shows we saw were pretty good, but the best one was the Van Pressly Jr.(of the Platters) show. The singers and dancers were all good, and the singers performed at the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. It was a beautiful mass, and was given in 5 different languages. The midnight buffets were nice, having lots of nice food and ice carvings. The Mediterranean night was nice, with lots of singers and dancers doing traditional dances. Itinerary: Grade: A Although my wife and I had been to most of the ports, it was still a great itinerary. San Juan: We arrived in San Juan on Christmas Day, and the streets were busy. Most of the stores were closed due to Christmas, but a few were still open. We knew that the square in front of city hall would be nicely decorated, so we went by and got lots of nice pics of the lit up buildings. We also strolled along the waterfront, where the streets were packed with cruisers and locals. Oftentimes cruisegoers are isolated from the locals, so it was nice to be amongst the people who actually live in San Juan. La Paseo de la Princesa had a fair that was beautifully lit, and packed to the brim with people. St. Thomas: We had previously been to St. Thomas, so sightseeing wasn’t on our list, we wanted to shop. From the Crown Bay cruise terminal, we took a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie, and walked and shopped. So many shops, so little time. When it was time to return to the ship, the streets were packed with cabs, so traffic was at a stand still. What we did was grab a taxi on the main road along the waterfront, which moved much faster, and got us back in no time. Catalina Island: We were originally scheduled to go to La Romana/Casa De Campo, DR, where we had been to previously. Personally, we found Casa De Campo to be a waste of a cruise stop as there’s not much shopping or sightseeing to be done (although Altos de Chavon is beautiful). We’re not sure why there was a change in destination, but we were pleasantly surprised to spend a day at the beach. We dropped anchor and took the tenders to the island. The beach is beautiful, and owned by the cruiseline, thus they had a barbecue lunch set out in a buffet style (probably the best lunch all week). The shore was a little rocky and treacherous, but was still okay to swim in. Gorgeous beach, gorgeous day, altogether. Grand Turk: The beach in Grand Turk was nice, but not as nice as Catalina Island. The water was crystal clear, and quite shallow, making wading, swimming, and snorkeling quite easy. The cruise terminal itself is far away from any town, so, unless you take a taxi, you stay in the terminal/beach area, which seemed a little too fabricated for my tastes. Even so, any day on a lounge chair on the beach is better than being at work, so I was happy. Disembarkation: Grade: D We requested an early checkout so that we could catch our flight. So, we were given tags, and told to go to the theater at 8:30 AM to await disembarkation. We waited in there for over an hour and a half, and found that people of all tag colors were getting off the boat. It was very disorganized, and no rules/tag colors were enforced. We barely made it to our flight because of the delay, but we made it, and were sad to go home after a week of relaxation. Overall: Grade: B- Getting on and off the ship was atrocious, however the beautiful ship, and good itinerary made for an enjoyable trip. My sister in law is now hooked on cruises like we are, so we’ll be going on another cruise sometime soon. As for taking Costa, although an enjoyable time, I don’t think we’ll be taking Costa again. You do get what you pay for, and this cruise was excellent for the price we paid. However, with the options out there, I would rather spend a little more and get the perks of a higher end cruise line like Princess or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
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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