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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
We took the Costa Concordia Western Mediterranean cruise over Christmas and boarded in Savona. Boarding in Savona was smooth and efficient - could not have been better. Luggage was in our room before we reached there. We took an ... Read More
We took the Costa Concordia Western Mediterranean cruise over Christmas and boarded in Savona. Boarding in Savona was smooth and efficient - could not have been better. Luggage was in our room before we reached there. We took an outside-view cabin. The room was spacious but untidy. The sheets were unclean, pillow had stains and the bathroom drains were blocked. We needed to make frantic calls and the first day went in getting the room habitable. We were disappointed as we did not have such an experience with Costa before. The food was reasonably good. We preferred the dine-in option at breakfast and lunch to the buffet option. The ship was so full that there was complete disorder on many days during breakfast and lunchtime buffet - many of our co-passengers were very unhappy. The evening entertainment was quite good. My daughter enjoyed many of the shows and the quality was enjoyable. In contrast, the kids club (SquokClub) was not as good. The staff were few for the number of children and with the different age groups and nationalities grouped together, it was not as engaging as we had experienced on prior Costa trips. The ports we stopped at included Marseilles, Barcelona, Mallorca, Palermo, Malta and Rome - we did not take any of the excursions and managed to tour the cities on our own without any difficulty. We took the spa at Samsara - very relaxing experience and enjoyed it thoroughly. The crew overall were very humble and polite - they made up for all the shortfall during the trip. In summary, an average experience - could have been much better though. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2011
The Concordia (Costa) is a nice enough ship. As on all lines, the staff was pleasant, the ports were charming and fun to experience. It was the moment to get away from the daily work hustle and bustle to be with the lady I have loved for ... Read More
The Concordia (Costa) is a nice enough ship. As on all lines, the staff was pleasant, the ports were charming and fun to experience. It was the moment to get away from the daily work hustle and bustle to be with the lady I have loved for 40 years. My absolute disappointment started with the on board internet system. Slow is normal for most cruise lines (obviously because of the profit margin), but this system went lower than bad. In the middle of emails or lengthy responses the internet would shut down. Half my emails did not go out. One continuous confrontation with a non breathing cheap system that wasted my time, prevented touring (missed tour) and enjoying why we went on the cruise. When explained to the front desk, they did not care. The solution, that we have done on every cruise, is an internet cafe at the port of call with skype. Our cabin balcony door had wind whistling that required towels to be put in it to be able to sleep. Never fixed. The toilet that refused to flush reminded me of an obstinate child. Though the different meals had a variety of good potential ingredients, the chef went out of his way to insure it was bland and very tasteless. Iceberg lettuce was the best they could do for a salad. We know from previous land trips to Italy that the Italians know great food preparation. The few days before and after the cruise on land was once again a culinary delight. Our suite had a conscientious "butler". Nice guy, but work load overwhelmed. The rooms were always clean by the lady assistant. Always an upside. Five of the seven days, he was unable to bring what we ordered for breakfast. They'd bring half saying we'd get the rest later. There were other minor and not pleasant issues. Costa, you treated me like the US Government. You used your force in refusing any sense of fair play. Now it's election time and I am voting not to spend any more time or money with you. More important my wife agrees. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
Background This was my first cruise. I have friends who enjoy cruises and its something that I have wanted to do for a while. I had some annual leave I needed to use up before the end of the year, so was looking for a last minute ... Read More
Background This was my first cruise. I have friends who enjoy cruises and its something that I have wanted to do for a while. I had some annual leave I needed to use up before the end of the year, so was looking for a last minute holiday to book. I had a look on the Cruisecritic website looking a cheap last minute cruise and saw the Mediterranean Spirit cruise offered via IdealCruising; however googling around a bit I found the same cruise available on cruisedeals.co.uk for more than £100 cheaper. I suggested the idea to a friend of mine who was also looking for a cheap winter holiday and he was up for it, so I phoned CruiseDeals and spoke to their agent Lorraine who was very helpful and arranged the cruise for us. The total price was as advertised. This was £519 per person including flights. This was for an Oceanview stateroom. A real bargain, especially as the flights were with BA. The itinerary was a seven day circle of the Western Med on board the Costa Concordia, beginning and ending in Savona: Day 1: Savona Day 2: Barcelona Day 3: Palma de Mallorca Day 4: At Sea Day 5 Valletta Day 6: Palermo Day 7: Civitaveccia (for Rome) Day 8: Savona Travel To Port of Embarkation (Savona) Early flight from Heathrow on BA. The day before loads of flights had been cancelled due to fog and it was still foggy on the morning of departure. Luckily the plane took off as scheduled. We were met at Milan airport by a Costa representative who told us that we had to wait a bit for passengers from other flights. This was about for about 1.5 hours, so we grabbed some lunch. We then boarded a coach that took us to Savona. This journey was about 3 hours including a half hour stop. (Longer than our flight!) Arriving at Savona was fun as the town is dominated by all the huge Costa ships in port. The coach took us straight to the modern terminal building where we quickly ushered on board. No waiting about - very quick. It turned out we arrived 45 minutes before the ship was due to sail! We found our cabin and were amazed to find our luggage already there! In the cabin were our "costa cards", a welcome pamphlet and an excursion booklet. Excursions could be booked using the interactive TV. The costa cards are plastic cards with a bar code which is scanned every time you leave and re-board the ship. You can also register it with a Credit Card (or a cash deposit) and then use it to pay for drinks and services on board. Before we had barely caught our breath, it was time for the Ship Emergency drill - basically a case of finding your life jacket, working how to wear it and then following the signs to the life boats and be counted. Fairly straight forward and didn't take too long. Ship Info The Costa Concordia is a medium to large ship. Has a capacity of about 3500 passengers and 1000 crew. The ship's decor is generally quite OTT, and in some ways reminded me of a Las Vegas hotel on water, what with the casino, camp musical shows in the theatre, buffets and bars. But I love Vegas, so this was a good thing :-) The ship has 12 public decks, 3 pools and several hot tubs including 2 on deck next to a water slide! The 2 main pools both have sliding roofs, which as we were in November remained closed for most of the trip. They were opened on the last morning and this completely changed the feel of the pool areas. The number of passengers throughout the trip varied from day to day as people can embark/disembark at different ports on the trip. Mostly the ship felt about 75% full though on the last night it was probably only about 33% full and the ship felt pleasantly quiet. It never felt overly crowded at any time. Always plenty of room in buffet / theatre / Spa / On deck. Speaking of deck - there is plenty of deck space. Had the weather been warmer, I don't think finding a lounger would have been a problem. On the deck there is a jogging track and basketball court as well as the aforementioned water slide. Stateroom We had cabin 2443 a category E2 outside stateroom. This was bigger than expected with plenty of room and storage for 2 adults. A decent side window provided good views of each new port. The bath room was a decent size with a shower that had good water pressure and temperature and where the water stayed within the shower with going all over the bathroom. The beds were very comfortable. Perhaps slightly too much use of the colour peach for my liking! The cabin steward was very friendly and helpful and spoke excellent English. And he kept the cabin spotlessly clean for us. Dining Food was pretty good. Frighteningly, I put on 5lbs in one week! Generally we had breakfast bedside the the aft pool (Lido Mediterranea) as this was served till 11.30am. This consisted of a buffet with all the usual UK, US and Continental favourites - bacon, scramble eggs, waffles, pancakes, french toast, sausages, beans, tomatoes, a selection of pastries, breads, fruit and cereals, along with tea, coffee and juice. There was also an omelette bar where you could have omelettes cooked to order. If you ate in one of the main restaurants - the food was similar but here were more things you could have cooked to order. Lunch was another buffet - various things to choose from, including salmon pork chops, pizza and some good salads. Most days we ate lunch in whichever port were at. Also, it seemed that at whatever time of day more or less, there were pizza slices and salad available in the buffet. The pizza was good, but toppings were a bit unimaginative. There was also a late night pizzeria where pizzas were made to order, however I didn't get round to trying this. There was also an afternoon tea buffet, with a nice selection of cakes and sandwiches. On the sea day, there was a more formal afternoon tea in the Club Concordia restaurant, with some really good loose tea. Speaking of the Club Concordia restaurant - this was another restaurant which you could book and pay a €20 premium for top notch italian food. However we thought the main restaurant was pretty good so didn't think it was worth trying. For dinner, you are assigned a table in one of two large restaurants at either an early (6.45pm) or late (9.15pm) sitting. We opted for the late sitting and were seated a table of 10 in the Milano restaurant, conveniently close to the cabin. You choose which sitting you want at the start of the holiday. We were sat with a nice bunch and we all became friends during the week. Are group consisted of 3 brits, 3 americans, a couple from Dehli and a honeymooning couple from Japan. They obviously make an effort to match tables by language and approximate age. The food was generally very good. There was no issue with the food coming out cold, which I have seen mentioned by some reviewers. Every night there 5 courses (6 if you had cheese as well) : appetiser, soup course, pasta/risotto course, main course and desert. And plenty of bread rolls. The drinks cost extra. The house white was very drinkable and not too expensive. If you wanted more than one of each course, you could have it. One of our table had 3 deserts one evening. I'd rate the quality 7 out of 10. Considering the number of meals being served this is pretty good. (and given how much the holiday cost!) At midnight, snacks were served in the bars. And several evenings, there were extravagant buffets at midnight by the Lido Magica. Consisting of Cakes and Fruit mostly (delicious pineapple and watermelon.) Once night they had an ice carving race between 2 chefs, and the tables were adorned with animals made of carved fruit, which was a nice touch. Service Service throughout was mostly attentive and friendly, especially from the Filipino and Indian staff. Our cabin steward was very helpful and friendly and kept the cabin and bathroom spotless. We didn't get towel animals though, unlike some of our dinner friends. Our table waiter (we had the same guy each night) was also friendly and obliging. A service charge of €7 per person is added to your final bill. This is more than reasonable given the level of service we got. Entertainment The entertainment was mostly cheesy, but entertaining none-the-less. Each night was a show in the large theatre in the bow of the ship. The theatre was very well equipped, with excellent sound, lights and some of the best laser effects that I've seen. There were 3 shows of dance and singing. These were extremely cheesy, but the dancers were excellent. These were just about the only British crew on board it turned out! Most of the songs were in English, with the odd crowd-pleasing italian number thrown in. There was also a recital from a concert pianist, a ventriloquist and Magic Martin - a magician who specialised in the big vanishing women variety. Very entertaining. There was also the animation team - a bunch of guys who would dress up and wander the bars / disco trying to get people to dance! They also hosted a very entertaining karaoke one evening. There are a wide selection of bars, each with their own atmosphere and each with singers or musicians. Some of which were quite good. There was also a classical duo who played in the Vienna Ballroom in a complete contrast to the rest of the ship! The casino was fun - I won €30 on roulette overall! Drinks in the bars are quite cheap compared to London prices, especially the cocktails. There are also various drinks packages which would be good value if you drink more than I do. Activities I spent a large part of the Sea day in the spa, which was very nice. A huge hydrotherapy pool, several steam rooms of varying temperatures, a relaxation room, treatment rooms and a winter garden where you can lie on loungers looking out to sea, with a calming sound track and remain warm even though it was mid november! As a bonus they server you green tea! A day pass was €38. Slightly pricey but I got my money's worth. There is also a well equipped gym attached with saunas in the changing rooms. The gym/saunas are free to use without paying for a spa pass. Only negative is that robes weren't provided - only towels. On the deck, there is a jogging track, sports court and water slide. Each evening you receive a news letter called "Today" in your own language detailing activities for the following day and information about the Port. Port & Shore Excursions We didn't really go on any Costa excursions - just explored the cities on our own. The only exception to this was the Costa coach trip to Rome ( it turned out to be a good move that day as the trains from Civitaveccia were not running because of industrial action.) Once in Rome, we explored on foot. The coach dropped off/ picked up at the Vatican. Valletta and Palermo are easily explored on foot directly from the ship. A shuttle bus is provided to/from the port at Barcelona (and there are plenty of taxis,) and there is a regular bus service from the port at Palma to the town centre. A top tip is to head to the local tourist information office and ask the agent to mark on a map the top things to see if you only have a few hours. All the ports are interesting, but my favourites were Valletta and Palma. Rome and Barcelona are great too, but a day isn't enough to do them justice really. In fact Rome is a stunning city. Disembarkation Disembarkation was easy. The night before we get a copy of "Today" giving details of where to meet. You have to pack and leave your luggage outside the cabin by 1am. During the night it is magically whisked away by the luggage elves. Those taking the transfer to Milan didn't have to be ready to 10am, so this gave time for breakfast and a last stroll around the Concordia. At 10am we met in the Grand Berlino bar and were directed to the luggage pickup point and then onto a coach which took us to Milan. We had to wait a while on the coach for more dutch people just like the first day! They were actually on a different ship from us. The only negative was that we had 3 hours or so to hang around at Milan airport - probably one of the worlds most boring airports that looked like it hadn't changed since 1976. Summary To summarise, we had a fun week, saw some interesting places and enjoyed a lot of nice food for £519 each - including British Airways flights and a decent cabin with a window. In my opinion, an absolute bargain. We did book last minute and it was mid-November, but still very good value. That's cheaper than a weeks rent of a studio flat in central london! I've seen a lot of negative reviews on cruise-critic, which mostly seem to be from people who (imho) have unreasonable expectations (for the money) or who don't like the European, multi-lingual nature of Costa. Personally I think this added to the experience. You'd think these people would do a bit more research before booking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2011
Positive thing: the cabin area and layout was good.The old style shower curtain was a challenge. After one took a shower the bathroom was like a swimming pool.I felt sorry for the cabin attendants. The food was a disgrace. The self ... Read More
Positive thing: the cabin area and layout was good.The old style shower curtain was a challenge. After one took a shower the bathroom was like a swimming pool.I felt sorry for the cabin attendants. The food was a disgrace. The self service for breakfast and lunch was very limited in options and without any alternatives for a passenger who wants to do a balanced diet. As an example, no skim milk available and one had a choice of butter or ... butter. Toast only of white bread. The food was tasteless and presented in a way that reminded me of my days at the university canteen. Surprisingly enough the self service was not open for dinner (remark out of curiosity since that would not be a real option). The only reasonable service was the "tea service" at 4.00 pm. In what concerns the service in the dinning room I have never seen anything like that. The attitude of the waiter and assistant waiter was terrible (since the gratuities are standard they do not care about the passenger opinion). During the whole cruise never saw the Maitre D. No light options in the menu either for main courses or desert. The presentation and quality of the food was by far the worst we have experienced in all the cruises we have sailed (Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America and even Carnival). We were so disappointed that we went on the second night to the "Special Restaurant" where a fee of 25 Euros per person applies. What a disaster! Worst that in the main dining room of the other Cruise lines we sailed with. From the starter to the desert it was a gallery of bad cooking and terrible presentation. Unfortunately this proved not to be an alternative to other nights. So we returned to the main dining room where we enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers from Spain and Argentina (by the way our experienced cruise fellows from Argentina were on this cruise as a compensation for a very bad experience with Costa before and shared our opinion - Costa never again). Regarding entertainment there were some reasonable options across the ship for dancing and the disco had a good atmosphere. The shows in the theater were ridiculously bad and weak with the exception of the "Celebration" show with the dancers. There was no orchestra (!!!) so all the music was recorded. They had a magician and a circus performer that were pathetic and could not get any reaction from the audience and one night the total show was performed by members of the crew. I had never seen anything like that. The Cruise Director was totally ineffective and provided no drive or enthusiasm among the passengers. The Staff tried to generate some excitement throughout the ship and they were effective in that task. The fact that the ship takes passengers in all the ports results in having every day a long (in 6 different languages) safety and administrative announcements through the speaker system. It is a torture every afternoon. Fortunately and after a series of complains, the sound was eliminated from the cabins. When those announcements occurred one had to run to the balcony (no volume adjustment was available in the cabin). Last comment relates to the very limited ability for the staff to speak and understand English. With a few exceptions most of the staff throughout the ship and even some staff in the Reception had significant difficulties with the English language. In conclusion, if you are used to the normal standard of the "American" Companies stay away from Costa. They are not expensive in absolute terms but provide very little value for money. As I normally say, I had "two cruises in one" - the first and the last. Costa never again! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
We just came back home last night after sailing last week on Costa Concordia. Our family was two kids age 15 and 10, my wife, my mom who flew all the way from Israel and of course my mother in law. We all had a great time together on the ... Read More
We just came back home last night after sailing last week on Costa Concordia. Our family was two kids age 15 and 10, my wife, my mom who flew all the way from Israel and of course my mother in law. We all had a great time together on the ship and visiting ports of Savona, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malta and Palermo. The first stop in Savona we went to Monaco. The trip to Monaco was purchased on the ship. We had a good ride on the big bus and perfect opportunity to see the place. The next day in Barcelona was a little short. We used a shuttle bus to get from the port to the city and spent that short time walking on the main street and then took the underground train ride to the Sagrada Church. I wish we could spend more time in Barcelona to explore this beautiful city. The third day we had a lot of fun on Palma de Mallorca. It is very beautiful place to visit. We bought a double Decker tickets and were able to stop and get on the bus during the day. It gave us so much opportunity to see the entire city and all the highlights. Trip to Malta and Palermo was also a very interesting experience. I would rank our ports of destinations and places that we visited 10 out of 10. Now more about the ship. The Concordia ship is huge. We had an inside cabin on the first floor. I could not see the end of the corridor. The room was great and clean. Jose, who was a cabin Stewart, took a great care of our room. The towels were always replaced, twice, three times a day. We had breakfast in the buffet and dinners in the Rome restaurant. The breakfast was fine as usual. The self serve brewed coffee in buffet area was awful. Nobody liked it. But there is always a choice to purchase a cup of coffee at the bar area. One thing that I wanted to say is that we had a great service for the Gluten free product. One of my child require gluten free menu and it was always cruise high priority to make sure we get the right food for my kid. There was always a Gluten free menu for the dinner and a couple of times we ordered a takeout gluten free lunch that was very well packed with sandwiches, vegetables, fruits and cookies. I never had a problem to bring a bottle of vine on the ship during our ports visits. Every time when we were visiting ports I was buying a bottle of local wines and we had that during our dinners in Roma restaurant. We never got charge any fees for drinking our wine during the entire time. We did not like the pictures service. It is much overpriced and there was not much price and package flexibility to purchase. The last time when we were on Holland America we had a package for 200 USD. It allowed us to get all the pictures that were taken during the cruise and we had a lot of them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2011
I've cruised on cheap and expensive ships and enjoyed them all .However, Concordia was to be the exception. Embarkation and disembarkation were quick and efficient - a breeze! The cabin, apart from its location near entertainment areas, ... Read More
I've cruised on cheap and expensive ships and enjoyed them all .However, Concordia was to be the exception. Embarkation and disembarkation were quick and efficient - a breeze! The cabin, apart from its location near entertainment areas, was good and the cabin staff excellent. The colour scheme of the ship has to be seen to be believed - brash! The shows, especially the dancers, were good. The staff, apart from those selling you something, were not really happy with their lot. I found the food in the main restaurants good. However, it was poor in the buffet with little choice. The safety drill didn't appear until near the end of the cruise - amazing! Smoking is allowed in several public areas on one side of the rooms, but pervades whole areas, irrespective of health, safety, children etc. I will not return to Costa to experience this again. Finally, there was no chance of sleep until around 2.30 a.m.each night because of the booming noise coming from entertainment areas. Our concerns and complaints weren't taken seriously. Instead we were given ear-plugs - can you believe it!!! Other passengers also complained but got nowhere. It provides general value for money, but because of the lack of thought and care vis a vis smoking and excessive noise into the early mornings , I certainly can't recommend it and will not travel with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
This was the second cruise I have been on with my family. I joined the cruise in Savona where Costa has its own dedicated terminal. The organisation was spot on with friendly and helpful crew throughout the ship. My daughter is disabled ... Read More
This was the second cruise I have been on with my family. I joined the cruise in Savona where Costa has its own dedicated terminal. The organisation was spot on with friendly and helpful crew throughout the ship. My daughter is disabled but I found virtually all areas of the ship easily accessible using the 20+ lifts located throughout the ship. The food was excellent, being mainly European dishes. The choice of dining options was good with either a la carte or buffet. Restaurant staff were superb, even cooking a special Filipino dish for my wife's birthday as well as providing a birthday cake. Entertainment was very good and varied, catering for all tastes. The cabin was very nice and comfortable (we were upgraded from an inside I1 to an ocean-view E2) and reasonably spacious. The cabin steward was very good. At all ports of call the organisation was superb considering the size of the ship and number of passengers embarking/disembarking. Choice of shore excursions was good although some excursions seemed very expensive. Drinks on board were expensive although discounted drinks packages could be purchased. The cosmopolitan passenger mix was nice with a large number of nationalities on board. Most announcements were in several European languages so I did not find language a problem at all. What I found a nice touch was that all crew members had name badges with their nationality and flag on them (the crew comprised of some 40 or 50 different nationalities). Overall the whole experience proved to be both relaxing, extremely enjoyable and also memorable. I will definitely be going on another Costa cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
In the Costa Cruises letter that came with our tickets from our booking agent, Cruise Club ,they stated that 'Costa's staff are ready to welcome you and anticipate your every wish'. This statement is far from reality. What Costa do, to ... Read More
In the Costa Cruises letter that came with our tickets from our booking agent, Cruise Club ,they stated that 'Costa's staff are ready to welcome you and anticipate your every wish'. This statement is far from reality. What Costa do, to make it cheaper for them, is book you on the earliest and lastest flights of the day. Our Easyjet flight departed 06.25 on time and landed at Milan Malpensa, approximately 09.30. With the time to add on for baggage reclaim and transfer from terminal 2 to terminal 1. The time will now be about 10.15am. On our ticket it said that out pick up time from the airport would be 08.30, difficult as we wouldn't even have landed at this time! There were no Costa representatives at terminal 1 to greet us and to tell us where we should go. We saw several other passengers from the same plane joining the same ship so all decided to stay together and try to find out where we were supposed to go, as no help was provided! We waited until the 12o'clock and we all made our way to the coach pick up point across the road and there like a mirage at the airport stood two Costa lady representative. We thought our troubles would be over, but no. On giving our names to the first lady, who looked on her client list our names were not there. So we asked why not. She told us that we obviously hadn't booked a transfer and so would have to take a taxi at our expense! On closer inspection we discover that we have got a completely different pick up point from the rest of the passengers, we are being sent to a train station! Why? Is it not reasonable to assume that the passengers travelling on the same plane to the same destination with the same tour company would be travelling together. As we already explained we would have missed our pick up as it would have left before our plane landed. We explained this problem to the Costa reps but they were just not interested, and most unhelpful or sympathetic, saying it was not their problem and that we would have to get a taxi at our expense. You can now imagine the stress this was now causing, and we said that we were not going to pay the cost of a three-hour taxi journey and that this should be for Costa to pay. They said we should take it up with our booking agents, a little difficult when we are stranded at a bus station in Milan! We then spoke to the other Costa representative. She said we would have to wait until further clients arrived to see if there was any room on the bus, but if not we would have to go Savonna at our cost by taxi. In between times these clowns were taking the names of the clients and directing them to a coach. It was like a comedy, they were putting 60 people and their luggage on a 50 seater coach so they had to get off and reclaim their luggage before it departed. My 10 year old grand-daughter could have organised it better. The ten people turned off the first coach were now getting excited and irate as you would be by now after getting up early in the morning to start their holiday. It would appear that these two reps only clocked on at 11.30am when they should have been at the terminal greeting clients The new wave of passengers arrived and just by chance there were two seats left on the coach so very begrudgingly they allowed us on the bus. Not a good start to our holiday! It was a good holiday the ship was lovely only 5 years old and if you like Italiaen food and pizza that you can have it morning noon and night. The sun beds you could always find two together but seven days is all you can stand of noisey Italian and German clients and who also do not like waiting patiently for getting on coaches so you to put link arms and put your elbows out to stop them pushing in front of you. The announcements were always in five languages which you would accept on an Italian cruise ship. But our problems did not end there. On the Thursday we thought we had better check to see if the transportation travelling to Luton was going to be the same as the outward journey. The rep at the reception desk didn't know why we had experienced the problems we had but assured us she would get in touch with yourselves and arrange for us to travel back on the same coach as all the other passengers travelling to Luton. She asked us to give her 24 hours, which we did. Still no answer so we gave her another 24 hours. She then told us that it had all been sorted and that we were definitely travelling back on the same coach as the other passengers to Luton. We thought great there will be no more hassle, but on seeing the final Today programme with disembarkation details , guess what, the Brown luggage labels were going to be transferred to, you guessed it, Milan Central Train Station. Nothing had changed. We therefore made our way promptly to the Tour desk but no-one there, so we went to customer services whom assured us that although they did not have the paperwork it would be OK. Upon hearing this we were not going to rely on what they told us as they had already given us false information. We got up early on disembarkation day to try and find the lady who we spoke to at the Tour desk. To her credit she went away and found the paperwork to assure us we were going to the airport. What the Today paper should have said was that the brown luggage labels were going not only to the train station but also to the airport. But no, we are not booked on the same coach as the others although this is what we had been promised. So why we were treated differently to other customers. But guess what, our problems did not end there. At the allotted time of 12.00am we went to the meeting point for the brown luggage label passengers. With little help we found our bus only to find that we were the only English speaking customers, and the rep who gave out instructions before leaving us on the bus only spoke in Italian! If we were like many of the older clients on board can you imagine the stress, worry and strain this would have had on them. To be treated this way was totally unacceptable when you take into consideration the boasting the Costa people were making that they were the best and did everything they could for their passengers. We have travelled with other cruise lines and have never been treated in this unprofessional way. We started and finished our holiday in a very unpleasant, stressful way. What had been a good holiday was ruined by very bad organisation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
This was our 2nd cruise this year - our first was with Princess in the Caribbean, with a balcony - and we wanted something not too expensive, which is exactly what we got. We originally booked an interior cabin, but having worked out ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise this year - our first was with Princess in the Caribbean, with a balcony - and we wanted something not too expensive, which is exactly what we got. We originally booked an interior cabin, but having worked out the actual size, decided to upgrade to an outside. We made a good choice, as having seen the size of the interior ones on board, I don't think we'd have been happy. Quite apart from the fact that they're really tiny, there's no natural light, so would have felt extremely claustrophobic. Many people do cruise very happily in interior cabins, but it's not for us - no matter how cheap. There have been several reviews saying that the food on the Costa ships is mainly frozen - even the salads. Well that's rubbish. Quite apart from the fact that lettuce (and there was a lot of lettuce) doesn't freeze, every salad we had was obviously fresh. However, almost every dish is marked as having one or more ingredient from frozen. This seemed particularly true of the seafood, which my husband said he was quite disappointed in. Overall, the food was of a reasonable/good standard, and in fact some (not all) of the main courses were very good - particularly the beef and the soups. One thing though - at breakfast, the toast is dreadful, and they really should take some lessons on poaching eggs - didn't have a decent one all week. The fresh fruit every morning was lovely, as were the pastries. We ate in the main dining room on early sitting. We did try the buffet - but to be honest, I don't go on a cruise to eat off plastic plates in a canteen, and have to say the food there wasn't really to our taste. Nothing wrong with it - in fact the pizzas were the best we've had on a cruise - but you don't get the lovely presentation with buffet food. We did try the Concordia restaurant (20 euros pp extra) on our first night, as we'd been mistakenly allocated 2nd sitting (maitre d' changed this for us from night 2 onwards), and it was very good. However, the vibration from the engines, although it didn't bother me, really annoyed my husband. We asked the staff if it's always like that and they said yes. Also seemed a bit odd that the Concordia restaurant was open to and above the buffet restaurant, so as we were eating our meal, we were serenaded by a crying baby from the buffet below. I've also seen several comments about the announcements being in 5 languages. Yes, it can get a bit annoying, but if you book an Italian ship, what can you expect. We cruised with MSC 2 years ago, and it was exactly the same. If you think about it, they could just do everything in Italian, so in some ways they're offering a better service than English speaking ships. One of the problems with 'budget' cruises, is that they have to make their money somewhere - and a lot is made up from the drinks and drinks packages. On Princess, we paid about $20 for an unlimited soda package (we don't drink much alcohol), but on the Concordia, it was 40 euros plus 15% service for just 20 cans. I got through 40 cans in the week, and my husband refused to pay on principal, so just drank iced table water. The excursions were OK - but again slightly more pricey than the Princess. The organisation was also a little hit-and-miss, but nothing went majorly wrong. On our trip, there were about 3,200 passengers, and it felt very crowded indeed at times - goodness only knows what it would have felt like with a full complement of 3,700. That said, we never struggled to find a sun bed, but it was a little difficult to find somewhere quiet to read sometimes. As far as the shows are concerned, they were very good, considering they had to appeal to a multitude of languages, and varied from a tribute singer to a magic show (which was surprisingly good). However, for us, there was too much time between eating and the shows - 1st dinner sitting was 7.00, but the first show wasn't until 9.45. 2nd sitting was 9.30, and the 2nd show was at 11.30. Would have been much better for us if the 1st show was at 9.00. The English speaking hostess (Angela, a Spanish girl) was fabulous, always trying so hard to please everyone, and very friendly indeed. Overall, for what we paid, we got an excellent cruise. But if you want Princess or HA standards, you won't get that on a Costa. With cruising, you definitely get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We made a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise with Costa Concordia starting from Civitavecchia visiting Savona, Barcelona, Mallorca, Malta, Palermo. We used the train to get to Civitavecchia from Rome; it was not easy to get to the ... Read More
We made a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise with Costa Concordia starting from Civitavecchia visiting Savona, Barcelona, Mallorca, Malta, Palermo. We used the train to get to Civitavecchia from Rome; it was not easy to get to the harbour from the train station; you have to walk at least 10-15 with your luggage's. This is nothing about Costa but you should know and organize yourself. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were well organised and everything went well for us. We stayed in a balcony cabin on deck 7. We loved the cabin; it was large, well organized. The bed was large and very comfortable; the balcony and the bathroom were both large and useful. There was enough cupboard in the cabin. There was an old style TV where you would expect a LCD etc. The cabin was very clean and it was kept clean during the cruise. The staff responsible for our cabin was very good, polite and helpful. We used the room service many times; in some of them we had to wait too much and had to tell the same thing over and over again. Most of the staff did not look happy with what they are doing. We had a feeling that they were working too much. Our English speaking hostess was very good; we liked her. Food was not as good as we have expected. The quality was high but it was generally not delicious. Open buffet was not that good; dinners were better but as I said it was not so delicious. Esp pasta's were not good; we did not have a delicious pasta even once. In breakfast there were only two types of Italian cheese; no olives and no olive oil which is not expected from an Italian ship. You can purchase drink packages on the ship; which actually do not include that much of advantage. One hint about the water; you can ask for tap water at dinners which was free; do not pay for bottled water unless you prefer mineral water. Pools were very small;almost impossible to swim. There were many bars all around the ship; there was live music all night long; and many of them were empty most of the time. Only the great bar was full every night. The casino was very small. Shows we watched were OK; dancers were good; lady singer was very good. We only had one excursion in Savona to Portofino. It was very good although they combined Spanish and English groups. It was well organised; the guide was very very good, speaking two languages one after another all day long. There was a good variety of excursions; prices 35-70 euros per person. We did not need to use any of the excursion in the ports we have visited. Only in Savona we would recommend to use excursion without a doubt. Ports of call were good. An important point, in the programme it says Mallorca for both 3. and 4. days altough the ship only stays in Mallorca for 1 hour -from 00:00 to 01:00- on the 4. day. Do not think that you are going to stay there an overnight. An other important point for international travellers. The majority of the passangers were Italians and they were not so polite. They seemed unhappy to get in a queue for food or to meet you in the corridor or in the elevator looking into your face saying nothing; our "good morning"s "good afternoon"s were not answered unless there is someone else from another country. Anyway if you are looking for an international environment, Costa ships departing from an Italian port are -most probably- not the right ships to take. Read Less
Costa Concordia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 1.0 3.1
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.3

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