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Sail Date: March 2015

Having read some of the previous comments we went on this cruise expecting the worst, however things turned out much much better than expected & our advice to anybody due to travel is go with an open mind & enjoy yourselves, ... Read More

Having read some of the previous comments we went on this cruise expecting the worst, however things turned out much much better than expected & our advice to anybody due to travel is go with an open mind & enjoy yourselves, also if you enjoy the odd tipple make sure you sign up for the all inclusive drinks package as its got to be one of the best at 25.5 euros p/p p/day of any cruise line.

Food on on board is a bit limited & chaotic during the buffet feeding times but the evening dining was excellent & made all the better by the waiting staff & our fellow diners ( Roy,Lorraine, Stewart & Lorraine). The ship is kept spotless as the staff are always busy cleaning though the Greek decor is a bit gaudy & dark. George our cabin steward done a great job & nothing was too much trouble for him. Entertainment was a bit hit & miss as we never got to see some of the shows however the the team do a great job in the Luna bar later on & on a couple of nights we had a great laugh watching the Italian compare playing games with some of the guests. Ports & Tours, we made our own way in each port & found a free shuttle bus in each though this wasn't always made known, the shops & tower blocks are a bit too much at times & our fav bit was hiring a couple of bikes in Abu Dhabi and riding the full length (8k) along the Corniche next to the deserted beaches. Disembarking was easy with taxi's on the key side that cost about 60 dirham = £12 to the airport but beware the drivers think they are all F1 racers. In summary we had a great time for what we paid & wouldn't hesitate to travel on Costa again.

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015

Now where do I start.  Having done dozens of cruises with the likes of Princess,  P&O, NCL, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean I have learnt that apart from small differences in presentation,  the typical fair of different ... Read More

Now where do I start.  Having done dozens of cruises with the likes of Princess,  P&O, NCL, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean I have learnt that apart from small differences in presentation,  the typical fair of different ships and lines is pretty much the same.  Happy friendly crew,  excellent food from the buffet from breakfast to last thing at night,  pool side burger bars,  elegant dining rooms with silver service with the best food available,  specialty restaurants, lots of great bars,  to show and entertainment everywhere. This is NOT what you get on COSTA!!!

Having just returned from a weeks cruise on the Costa Serena I can honestly say it has been the worst cruise I have ever been on (after completing 15). Ok the ship is clean and much to the best efforts of the staff (who look shattered due to the long long shirfts Costa make them work), things just don't flow like a good cruise should. 

I'll go through the points that will show how poor Costa now is: 

*Grumpy shattered staff - Talk to staff on any ship you understand how they work for lengthy contracts without any days off, but at least they get decent down time and breaks, the odd half day and rewarded for service by tips and staff competitions. On Costa staff have two shifts and one being 11 hours long and they even get diddled out of their automatic tips by the company. Even with their best efforts you can understand why they are how they are. 

*Closed, closed, closed - If you like taking your watch off when on holiday and eating/drinking at your leisure forget Costa.  During the day the buffet is your main option,  but only for short time slots for the serving of hot food. Open for breakfast, 1030 closed. Then open at lunchtime, but be quick as two hours later is closed again,  and the Dessert will always be fruit salad! They do rolls around 4ish, but again they are not great. Other than that, the buffet is closed. No evening meal option. The poolside burger bar, only open for an hour or so at lunchtime,  but don't worry, as you wouldn't eat from here anyway with its grey meat.  The beef and chicken burgers look and taste the same. The best description being cheap meat. 

*Food - The food on board is limited, after the cheap bland delights of the day time buffet,  you have the option of your evening meal in the main restaurant.  Poor service,  no banter with the waiters as they have too many tables to serve, and the food.... Bland bland bland.Specialty restaurants (where you have to pay extra) consist of pizza, the same that was free during the day,  or an Italian. No snack bar,  no cafe in the atrium, but there is room service,  if you pay. 

*Drinks packages - The all inclusive package should be called the 'some included' drinks package. It costs the same as other lines but virtually everything is excluded from the deal. 

*Water - Costa will serve you alcohol all day and all night,  but you can only get a glass of water if you pay.  Even with your dinner no iced water.  And just to make sure they can get some more money out of you, they turn the water fountains off in the buffet when it closes after lunch. Captains drink reception - Nope there wasn't one. Bridge updates - No announcements from the captain giving you an update on your voyage. 

*"Just for Crew" "Just for Crew" - Crew safety drills being piped in full volume lasting for hours into passenger cabins.

*TV - Cabin TV film channels not operating,  instead showing safety drills on loop.

*The ship - It is clean,  very clean.  But good is it ghastly.  It's decor looks like the inside odd a sea-side amusement arcade with dark blue walls and ceilings broken up by red or blue lightsvand neon coloured tin metal strips. In the atrium they have these strange mannequins bolted to the ceiling. Apart from that,  it's not too bad.  So much potential just poorly run. 

*Other customers - It would be rude of me to count this against Costa, but the majority of customers are rude,  they just push in everywhere.  The only people queuing will be the brits.

*Entertainment - there was certainly plenty of singers and bands on board,  but after a day or two you got this de ja vu feeling as the next repeated the same sets night after night. 

It wasn't all bad, but so much was it did takeaway from the glamour of cruising.  The best advice I would give to anyone thinking of going on a Costa cruise would be to go onto another cruise line. 

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Sail Date: March 2015

we have just returned from a 7 night cruise on Costa Serena - sailing from Dubai. What an awful experience. I did research a lot of reviews, but still went with an open mind. I have cruised several times with other various Lines, but ... Read More

we have just returned from a 7 night cruise on Costa Serena - sailing from Dubai. What an awful experience. I did research a lot of reviews, but still went with an open mind. I have cruised several times with other various Lines, but this has to be the worst. The food wasn't up to much....very basic and long wait in Dining Room at evening meal waiting for everyone to catch up with whatever was the next course. The first evening was an absolute shambles...we sent our meal back as it was appalling. The room we were assigned...8318 was directly below the Pool area and when there were evening entertainment taking place our Cabin was like being inside the Disco!!!!!! You'd think at 12.30 after it finished you could retire to bed...NO....at 1.30 am EVERY SINGLE NIGHT....they would start dragging tables, chairs, sun loungers across the deck making this extremely loud scraping noise.......what an horrendous experience this was......we were sooooo tired most of the time, I just wanted to come home!!!!!! I could NOT recommend anything about this Costa Cruise to encourage anyone to join it. Awful experience from start to finish!!!!!! Our Cabin Number was 8318 BEWARE!!!!! Customer Services came into our room and witnessed this noise On more than one evening....but not a THING was done about it......They couldn't have cared less!!!!!!!!

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Sail Date: February 2015
1. We had an over night flight to Dubai and arrived to the Port Rashid at 12.00, the reception asked us to whait another 3 hours till 15.00 to let us in to the ship, so we forst to sleap at ports metal bench as homless!!! Is this is how ... Read More
1. We had an over night flight to Dubai and arrived to the Port Rashid at 12.00, the reception asked us to whait another 3 hours till 15.00 to let us in to the ship, so we forst to sleap at ports metal bench as homless!!! Is this is how you treat you costumers??? After 3 hours, they let us in to the ship and informed that now we can have food at the buffet and wait till 20.00 for our rooms to be ready!!!!! I have been working in Hospitality industry for 15 years and I have never seen so poor service!!! You have wasted all our day! Insted of few our of sleep at the cabin and going to explore Dubai we have been trapped in the all day waiting! I have told that Im not happy to reception but they say that We need to wait and nothing they can do!! Just ignored us. 2. The food at he buffet was cold and disgusting..I have reported to the reception,but they said that is only today because they are very busy and promised that they will improve.. and guess what it didn't ! all the cruise the food level was not like hotel standart but school canteen! For example: Breakfast- bacon every morning was burned down and swim in the oil (restaurant and buffet) at the restaurant they put small plates of meat, after 5 sec, nothing left and when you need to wait another 15min to be replaced and after 5sec gone..Im wasting my time of waiting. Lunch- long queues, most of the food is cold and swim in oil, the desserts are all warm as should be cold. Dinner is the same story...cold main courses, zero presentation,the bread rolls was hard as stone (probably from the morning) warm dessert and should be cold..I have tommato soup wich was probably from the tin and warmed up...The level of food below zero! I have told to the restaurant supervisor about that and he said that he know that problem and he said that they receive a lot of complaints about food. I have few compaints from the crew that they work long hours and for the overtime nobody pays! Italian crew members got longer breaks then the other countries crew got much less!! The time managment it's realy bad as well, for example: when we come for brekfast to the restaurant 10 membars of crew showing to us where to sit (most of the crew I have seen last night working) do you really need them??? Why you using fabrick napkins for breakfast and lunch?? I guess that you want to show 5* hotel standarts, but with school canteen food it looks terible..You waisting laundry and waiters time!! Free tip for you. I would really think about your Head chef's abilitty to work this job. 3. Entertainment was really poor, the dancers looked tired and wasn't sure that they dancing, the singers didn't have great voices. I love entertainment, but this one was like 12 years old school performance. 4. I come to complain to reception on Wed about all that and I said I dont wanna be charged for the service and the guy said that is inposble because it's part of contract, he wasn't helpfull so I have asked to speak with manager, but manager wasn't where. So I come back next day and spoke with supervisor, she took litle paper peace wrighted few word and said that she will get back to me. So at the evening we received the bill with charge of service. On friday finaly I have spoke with reception manager and I told her once again that how can I pay that charge when I haven't receive service that is suppost to be!!!?? She said that sorry to hear that and said to contact you!!! Do you pay tips for bad service? Your company represents Arab Emirates and Oman countries, Do you think they would be happy to hear how your company representing they country? Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into ... Read More
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into pieces on the stage by the Italian magician ! Portrait photos were very good quality and prices have been reduced from our last cruise with Costa 3 years ago. My daughter enjoyed kinds club, I used spa, which was a bit overpriced and the state of the art gym. I wish we purchased cruise and stay as 1,5 days were not enough to explore Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into ... Read More
Overall very good experience, tasty food, a-la-carte portions were small, but very tasty. We purchased all inclusive drinks package, which was good value for money. Very good entertainment, piano bar- fab! I personally have been sawn into pieces on the stage by the Italian magician ! Portrait photos were very good quality and prices have been reduced from our last cruise with Costa 3 years ago. My daughter enjoyed kinds club, I used spa, which was a bit overpriced and the state of the art gym. I wish we purchased cruise and stay as 1,5 days were not enough to explore Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
The worst Cruise Ship I have ever experienced and will never trust this Company again. My Cabin was 2412. Fine in itself but nobody should have to endure the level of noise that I experienced coming from Deck 3 above which was obviously ... Read More
The worst Cruise Ship I have ever experienced and will never trust this Company again. My Cabin was 2412. Fine in itself but nobody should have to endure the level of noise that I experienced coming from Deck 3 above which was obviously the Restaurant/Galley clearing up after the 2nd dining sitting. The noise I had to endure was those responsible for clearing up seemed to be dragging containers/bins across a steel floor from 11pm until 2pm and then starting again at 5am for the breakfast sitting. When complaining to Reception nothing was done. No complaint forms available on board and the Reception Staff need retraining in Customer Relations. We pay your wages!!! The Air conditioning in this Cabin somehow contained cigarette smoke. Costa cruises have been given ample time to address these issues but they have not bothered or are simply not interested. They say the matter was logged which is unacceptable. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
You have to expect to get a discounted ship if you pay a discounted price - we except that.... but does that really mean that you should expect poor customer service and worse of all dirty pillows and bedding. We paid £850 each for ... Read More
You have to expect to get a discounted ship if you pay a discounted price - we except that.... but does that really mean that you should expect poor customer service and worse of all dirty pillows and bedding. We paid £850 each for our cruise around the UAE's (including flights)... The embarkation process, on land, was OK - aboard ship was caotic. No body new what to do where to go... and the que at the Customer Service/information desk was insane... then, when you got to the front you were met with a grumpy faces of 4 women who didn't care how they spoke to you and didn't think it was their job to help you... The ports of call were all great - no complaints there. The entertainment on the ship was OK.. nothing spectacular but it wasn't awful. The sunbeds were awful... so dirty with an smell that wasn't pleasent, and I'm not talking about one or two of them.... but most of them.. but the worse thing for me was the bedding. Check it when you go into your cabin - which again is basic but OK. We had badly stained pillows with huge brown marks, blood (or what we assumed was blood). they were disgusting - and the mattress was the same. Unfortunately we didn't do this until disembarking.... when we were leaving the cabin I thought I'd help by stripping the bed.... shocked at what we saw. We're written and complained to Costa who have basically said 'oh well, never mind' and when I said that this wasn't acceptable they have just ignorned my emails. Shocking service - really is. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015

Having read the 2 previous reviews, I find it hard to believe that we were on the same ship. I too have been on dozens of cruises with Cunard, P &O, royal carribean ets and having read some previous reviews! I booked this cruise ... Read More

Having read the 2 previous reviews, I find it hard to believe that we were on the same ship. I too have been on dozens of cruises with Cunard, P &O, royal carribean ets and having read some previous reviews! I booked this cruise with some trepidation. I took the view that given the price paid, I was not going to get 5 star service. How wrong I was!

Embarkation was fine. having arrived in dubai the previous evening, we booked a hotel a and spent the day in dubai, arriving at the ship around 6pm. We embarked the ship straight away and we're told that cabins would not be available until 8.30pm. We checked around 7pm and found our cabin ready and our luggage waiting for us. The cabin was very clean and larger that we have had on other ships. Service from our cabin steward was excellent. Food in the restaurant was first class with plenty of choice, far better that we had on a recent cruise with Holland America! our waiters attended to every little detail and made sure our wine glasses were always topped up! And yes, water was served to all at both lunch and dinner.No it was not iced water, but does that really matter! We at lunch twice in the buffet. Plenty of choice but very busy but then isn't that the case on every cruise ship. Bar service in both the buffet and on deck was prompt nod efficient. There were 500 Brits on board with the remainder European. Yes some were a little exuberant but we saw no real bad manners. Overall a great cruise which I would recommend to anyone.

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015

My overall impression of Costa Cruises is one of obtaining clients with attractive advertised prices for their cruises but falling short of the quality and service of cruise lines like Holland America, Cunard & Norwegian. None are ... Read More

My overall impression of Costa Cruises is one of obtaining clients with attractive advertised prices for their cruises but falling short of the quality and service of cruise lines like Holland America, Cunard & Norwegian. None are perfect but Costa appears to recoup the majority of its profits by charging for additional items that are included by competitor companies. The ship and our stateroom were well appointed and our maid and dining staff were pleasant and efficient, a credit to the company.

It appears that whilst our ship 'the 'Serena' has accommodation for 3000+ guests it does not have the resources to cater for this number.

The sun lounger policy is an example. My wife and I wished to use a sun lounger each but because all the available sun loungers were either being used by guests or reserved by them we had to resort to using those that were stacked on deck 11. I was among at least twenty guests who were forced to use these loungers; one lady had to carry four to the sun deck and I had to carry one for one elderly lady who wished to use one. Costa Cruises claims it has a strict policy of not allowing guests to reserve sunbeds but this policy is completely ignored by guests and not enforced by the company. Indeed when I approached a senior female officer she said the company cannot remove towels from reserved sunbeds; but I would be allowed to!

The food at our evening dining room was fine but on one occasion at breakfast we were served porridge oats which were very bitter, which my wife said was due to the food being burnt. We advised the waiter and he simply removed the dishes without showing any interest and not offering to replace them.

There is a blind spot at late afternoon when it is impossible to obtain any refreshment like tea or coffee unless paying for it. Also a Spanish guest simply asked for cold water at breakfast and was told he would be charged for it.

There are inadequate bar staff attending the open upper decks, the buffet breakfast & lunch is like a cattle market with guests to-ing & fro-ing between their chosen table and the food stations. As trays are not supplied it means getting up at least 3/4 times in the meal thereby increasing the congestion at the food stations.

The overall feelings from fellow passengers was 'you get what you pay for' and I would willingly pay more for a better standard and less crowded ship.

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Costa Serena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 2.0 3.1
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 3.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.6

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