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Sail Date: January 2015

This was our first cruise. I booked this cruise as a Christmas present for my wife via a local travel agent. I originally booked a Junior Suite, but the we got upgraded to an Owner Suite.

We flew Palanga Lithuania to Copenhagen, ... Read More

This was our first cruise. I booked this cruise as a Christmas present for my wife via a local travel agent. I originally booked a Junior Suite, but the we got upgraded to an Owner Suite.

We flew Palanga Lithuania to Copenhagen, wondered around in the cold and had a good meal before catching the SAS overnight to Dubai. SAS, even in economy provide much more leg room than Airbaltic, the only other option from here. Add to that the free meal, drinks and entertainment, well worth the little extra it costs for SAS.

We arrived 06.30 hours in Dubai, fairly quick immigration although my wife's Lithuanian passport (despite Visa) meant an eye scan and a lot of tutting.

We had booked a car through Alma to take us to Metropolitan Deira hotel for breakfast and a quick sleep. That hotel was not the best, breakfast very simple, hotel room smelt of cigarette smoke and it was noisey. Having said that we ere so tired we slept well.

At 14.00 caught a taxi to the Cruise Terminal. As it was our first cruise we did not know the format and got in the wrong queue, probably as a result of still being a little tired and not seeing signs. They were there for Owner suites, we just did not see them until too late.

The Andromeda suite was just fantastic..much larger than we thought it would be, extremely comfortable and tastefully decorated. We couldnt stop smiling.The Went to the Wind Jammer for late lunch..buffet style but of surprisingly good quality for mass feeding.

First dinner was a mess..a lot of confusion on tables, ours had other people sitting at it and it took the head waiter half an hour to sort it out, depsite his assurances that it would take only a couple of minutes. One man was getting really angry with the mess and was escorted away by security, but frankly he deserved it, he was pushing staff around.Once we sat, our waiter Ivan and his assistant gave us wonderful service and again a surprisingly good quality meal with lots of choice. I really was surprised, feeding 1000+ people in a sitting is a tough job to do well.

Second day in Fujeirah, as with many we did not get off, not a lot to see there according to all reports. Spent the day sunning ourselves, relaxing and finding our way around this wonderful piece of engineering. Brilliance really is a phenominal ship. This evening we found out that our gold cards entitled us to free drinks in the concierge club..given the price of wine in the bars, that was a real bonus! And everyone in the club so friendly and relaxed..in fact same applied to whole ship.

3rd/4th Day in Muscat Oman..a wonderful town with friendly people. We took shuttle bus to Port gates and had decided to walk into town as lots of taxi drivers being quite pushy for their services..however once we got past that a very pleasant and friendly, not pushy at all young man approached us and in very reasonable terms offered us the two hour drive around to all the sites. We agreed USD60 for this service. His name is Hamed zizo105h@live.com and would recommend him thoroughly. He took us everywhere in town and out, to the palaces, Mosques, out to the magnificent 5 star hotel along the beach and then out to the hotels where beaches were. He stopped everywhere for photo opportunities and worked hard to tell us all details..but he applied no pressure to do anything, just what ever we wantd to do..we were impressed. Once Hamed took us back we walked down the Corniche near the port. That was not so impressive, but the souk was interesting. The cafes were a little grubby but staff and the fresh juices were pleasant enough.

5th Day Abu Dhabi--a mini Dubai, with lots of impressive things to be seen and obviously it will become bigger as lots of construction going on. We went to the USD3bn hotel where all the Sultans/Sheiks of UAE stay, very impressive, the Marina mall, and a few other places in downtown area...really enjoyed it and would go back for closer exploration.

6/7th Days..Back to Dubai..a city we love. Lots has been written here on Dubai and I dont need to add a lot. After the cruise we had an extra 2 nights at Atlantis the Palm, and what a real treat that was too! Highly recommend it, so much to see and do there that you wont want to go into town. SLightly spolied by a sand storm but not so bad that we could venture onto the beach.

As for Brilliance of the Seas..following summary

Accomodation-Fantastic

Service-very good, from the lads who did the room (and amused us greatly with their towel sculptures) to our waiters in the restaurant, to The Concierge club staff, to the bar staff and entertainment staff. All very service orientated, except for the head waiter (of entire restaurant) who ran around a lot making lots of noise but didnt seem to achieve much. Thankfully Ivan and his assistant more than made up for that.

Route-very interesting, but maybe another day in Abu Dhabi rather than Fujeirah would be more interesting.

Entertainment-Generally very good, we enjoyed it.We did try a murder mystery dinner in Portofino restaurant one night..that cost more and was not very good, the only disappointing meal.

Food- excellent considering the numbers they have to cook for

Overall experience..fantastic

Drawback-the only thing that really irritated me was the tipping system. Not only is 15% added to every bar bill for service (including the mini-bar) but then you are expected to tip the waiters, room staff and all others at the end of the week..double tipping and at not small percentages! I had no qualms about tipping the staff who looked after us well at the end of the week, but 15% on each bar bill is way over the top and unecessary. And beware, prices shown on the menu are before the service charge, so a USD40 bottle of wine actually costs USD46.

If Royal Carribean could get that right, they would have a real winner, but for us, it was excellent and much better than we had dreamed. We will definitely go again.

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Sail Date: January 2015

easy going,slick and fun.

check in and check out easiest every been on any cruise. Mix of clientele from all different countries ( so no british sunbed wars like on P and O or drunks )

all inclusive was the better option ... Read More

easy going,slick and fun.

check in and check out easiest every been on any cruise. Mix of clientele from all different countries ( so no british sunbed wars like on P and O or drunks )

all inclusive was the better option as was expensive.

First day on ship let them down as buffet tea on deck hot dogs and beefburgers not great but redeemed themselves post this.

You can stay on ship till your flight is ready for to leave never had this before always kicked of in the morning.

emirates' are not what expected and are really lovely

negative - mandatory gratuities

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Sail Date: January 2015

Check in was a nightmare, first check in and drop luggage at Dubai cruise terminal 10am, 2.30pm start queueing for second check in before heading for ship, 3.30pm (and I was near beginning of queue) queue again to have photo taken ... Read More

Check in was a nightmare, first check in and drop luggage at Dubai cruise terminal 10am, 2.30pm start queueing for second check in before heading for ship, 3.30pm (and I was near beginning of queue) queue again to have photo taken before boarding, then queue again to collect key card, if you've travelled in Europe you will be aware they do not queue but push in wherever they can. I am a female pensioner travelling alone and felt like the whole day had been spent in a scrumage and to top it off you are not allowed in your cabin until 8.30pm. Had to go into dinner in clothes had travelled in, no head waiter to show you to a table just find one yourself and sit down. Received restaurant seating the next day but again no-one to assist you find the table and they were not set out in numerical order, but all on it were British and friendly. The signage on board was very poor and no plan to show where things are eventually found out that wherever you want you need to go either up or down to deck 5 and walk full length of ship through casino and then either up or down to where you need to be as you cannot go up or down in centre of ship, the casino is in the way! Italian staff were only interested in serving Italians but the rest of staff, particularly bar and waiters were very nice and helpful. The restaurant food and service was very good but buffet was very mediocre. Plenty of entertainment which was mostly very good. The ships decoration is very tacky and cheap looking but everything was very clean and my cabin was great, on my own but had a double bed and bathroom was roomy. Go up to deck 11 for a bit of peace and a sunbed, less popular but suited me. I had bought the drinks package which was a good move as the cost of soft drinks, water and coffee all mount up before you hit the alcohol and aren't cheap. The buffet is only open between certain times and the drinks machines are switched off. Coffee is not served in the restaurants you have to go to a bar and buy it.

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Sail Date: January 2015

I cannot believe all the negative reviews for this cruise. Ok its not on a par with the likes of Celebrity and Norwegian, both of whom I have sailed previously on 3 occasions, but neither is the price!! For what I paid I thought it was ... Read More

I cannot believe all the negative reviews for this cruise. Ok its not on a par with the likes of Celebrity and Norwegian, both of whom I have sailed previously on 3 occasions, but neither is the price!! For what I paid I thought it was excellent value for money.

We had an Oceanview cabin which was spotlessly clean and had more storage than I have had on the two aforementioned cruise lines. The food was good with plenty choice and the buffet always had plenty choice and in my opinion was good quality. People are complaining about having to wait till everyone at the table is finished each course before the next is served. Is this not just common courtesy and table etiquette!!

The drinks package was half the price charged by other cruise lines and the choice available was more than adequate. The service round the pool and in the bars was in my opinion better than Norwegian and Celebrity. We were having to refuse drinks the servers were round so often.

The entertainment maybe could have been better but due to the mix of different nationalities there was a nice friendly vibe on board and a sense of fun.

We made an effort to speak to others of all nationalities not just fellow brits and didn't encounter any rude or obnoxious people.

We chose to walk of with our own luggage and were off the ship in no time and heading to the airport.

To reiterate for what we paid we thought it was excellent value for money and would have no qualms about sailing Costa again if the price was right.

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Sail Date: January 2015

We have just been on the Costa Serena from Dubai to Oman ect. We arrived at the port at 8/30 am to be told we cannot board the ship till 8/o'clock in the evening great after an over night flight.

Later they done us all a big ... Read More

We have just been on the Costa Serena from Dubai to Oman ect. We arrived at the port at 8/30 am to be told we cannot board the ship till 8/o'clock in the evening great after an over night flight.

Later they done us all a big favour and let us on board at 3oclock in the afternoon but still could not get a shower or change of cloths until 8 o/clock that night.

Bad start but did not improve that much, the following night was there first Gala dinner we sat at the table at 9 0/clock and by 9/45 still had not had a drink or menu. We gave up and went to bed, but the service did improve after that.

They do have ice cream machine but none of them was working, often the Orange drink machine also wasn't working and all the tea and coffee machines were closed by 90/clock in the evening.

Luckily this was not our first cruise so it has not put us off, as we have experienced fantastic meals on all the other ones,we were surprised to find they could not cook fish tried three times all well over cooked and gave up.

Just to say I do not enjoy having to write this but feel that people should be aware of this cruise line, and just in case you think we will try them again you are wrong.

Costa do not cut your service to cut your prices

David and Brenda

 

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Sail Date: January 2015

the embarkation was the nightmare we were warned about but when we finally got our cabin we really enjoyed the cruise.the ship was great,the cabin was great the itinerary was great and the crew were great.....for the most part.the only ... Read More

the embarkation was the nightmare we were warned about but when we finally got our cabin we really enjoyed the cruise.the ship was great,the cabin was great the itinerary was great and the crew were great.....for the most part.the only issue we had with the whole cruise was that the breakfast service was shocking.it was so bad that after 2 days we started eating breakfast in the buffet restaurant which had almost the same choices as the ceres.the all in drinks package was a bargain.the food was really good too.

Entertainment was a mixed bag but luca in the in the piano bar next to the casino was really good.

If this company has made the cutbacks that previous reviewers have stated then all i can say is that this must have been an amazing deal before hand.

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Sail Date: December 2014
First cruise I’d ever been on and found it positively delightful. This was a dream, as it’s Italian so enjoyed the relaxing feel. Had the best time. Beautiful ship with stunning Venusian designs on lifts. Impressive throughout. ... Read More
First cruise I’d ever been on and found it positively delightful. This was a dream, as it’s Italian so enjoyed the relaxing feel. Had the best time. Beautiful ship with stunning Venusian designs on lifts. Impressive throughout. The best pina~colada ever. I had them every single night and nobody has been able to get them right since off the ship!They put some ice cream in them and they are irresistible. I love Italian food and there were plenty of pasta, pizzas and lots of healthy salads so I enjoyed the food as plenty of variety. I also love cappuccinos and my cigarettes so was able to feel at home. Had the best highlighting for my hair too so a bonus and plenty of beauty treatments onboard at good prices and I took home lots of products. Highly recommend the facials as well as hairdressers. Fabulous cabins,we had a twin room which was fully stocked with everything we needed so you don’t really need to take much with you .Exceptional cleaning and very hard working, friendly staff. I love gambling and plenty of slot machines to choose from in casino. This company really know how to look after they're customers and I met some great people. At Christmas we all had a gift in our rooms and there was a beautiful chocolate fountain in one of the many stunning bars.I just didn’t want to get off the ship at the end of it and would love to go on the other costas . Cofu and Rome were lovely and they have coaches to take you there and pick you up and plenty of day trips that are simply exceptional. Everything and I mean everything about it made it the most wonderful experience of my life and we even met four people onboard who we are still friends with and meet up and send Christmas cards too. This cruise ship is luxurious and everything,all details are catered for, so you can just enjoy the best cruising experience of your life. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014

Boarding was an apocalyptic chaos, despite the fact there was to be priority embarkation. Took us an hour to get to the gangway only to be told that we had to back to check-in because they had forgotten to give us health declaration ... Read More

Boarding was an apocalyptic chaos, despite the fact there was to be priority embarkation. Took us an hour to get to the gangway only to be told that we had to back to check-in because they had forgotten to give us health declaration forms. An hour later we were on board.

Somebody else's bag turned up at our door with our bag tag 24 hours after boarding. We returned it and liberated our own bag from the ship's office.

The cabin was superb.

These guys know how to drive a 114 thousand ton ship!

Service attitude was superb.

Food was mediocre at best. I thought this is an Italian boat? They should know something about food.

The bars were great.

Our balcony was superb.

Disembarkation was an apocalyptic mess again. Finally found our suitasuitcases about a kilometer from the place we were directed to.

Still - will do it again.

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Sail Date: December 2014

As a 70 year old grandfather, I flew Emirates alone from Birmingham on the overnight flight to Dubai. Emirates have great food and a generous baggage allowance and I was well within the 30kg limit, even including all of the Christmas ... Read More

As a 70 year old grandfather, I flew Emirates alone from Birmingham on the overnight flight to Dubai. Emirates have great food and a generous baggage allowance and I was well within the 30kg limit, even including all of the Christmas presents which I was taking. Flying overnight and the 4 hour time difference meant I wouldn't require a hotel. The flight route, which you can reassuringly monitor on your own screen,carefully avoids the troubled areas (Ukraine,Syria and Iraq) with the final leg over increasingly friendly Iran.

The early morning arrival at Dubai was delayed by a half hour whilst we circled over the Arabian Gulf, waiting for the airport to re-open, after being closed due to the morning fog. On the landing approach, the magnificent sight of the Costa Serena could be seen at berth in the port.

Dubai is a massive hub airport. After an internal train ride, I joined the immigration queue. Allow a good half hour for this if you need the 30 day visitor visa stamp.

I was to meet up with the rest of the family party arriving at midday so there was no rush. Our party totaled 6, 3 adults and 3 children.

After lunch, we looked for transport to the ship. We made the initial error of dealing with a taxi tout at the exit. It became clear that we were going to cover a very large distance on foot to his vehicles. We then retraced our steps back to the white taxis in the official taxi rank. We realized that with 6 of us and all of the luggage, we would need 2 taxis. To our surprise, both our taxi drivers were ladies. They are not allowed to drive all male passengers, but because we had two females in our party, the convoy could depart, after negotiating a very reasonable fee for the trip.

At the port, an army of porters unloaded our luggage and took it into the embarkation hall for us. With hindsight, arriving at 3.30pm was a bit early. I would think 4.30 would be better but there is significant traffic at rush hour in Dubai. There were many people there already and the check in process was very slow to gather pace. Basic refreshments were on sale in the embarkation hall. Toilets are available but you had to re-enter via security again.

Security was good; equal to airport standards. The labels which Costa pre-supplied were attached to the luggage which duly appeared later outside our cabins at 8.00pm. You may prefer to keep your carry-on bag with you as cabins are not available until 8.00pm.

Access to the ship using the Costa Card initially required a photograph to be taken at the gang-plank. This is then stored and associated with your bar-code each time you leave and enter. Your carry-on baggage is then X-rayed and you are metal detected. This is a very reassuring level of security, although one cynic suggested they were looking for smuggled-on booze.

Once aboard you are relieved of your passport. This is duly labelled and stored until the eve of dis-embarkation when they are returned. A receipt was issued for each passport.

On board your Costa card serves many purposes. It is used as a payment cash card, cabin key, and identity card. You need to back it up with either cash or a bank card within 48 hours otherwise you get a reminder letter delivered to your cabin.

Once on board, you are free to explore. Buffet food was available for free in the buffet areas. We used the deck 9 Ristorante Buffet Prometeo with lovely views from the window tables and subsequently we always breakfasted there and had lunch when aboard.

Bar staff will approach you to sell the many drinks packages. We settled for a wine and water package which gave us 6 bottles of wine and 7 bottles of water. This worked out well for 3 adults with the 6 restaurant meals we would have during the week. We couldn't justify the all-in drinks package costs because we are only moderate drinkers. When you use your drinks package, you sign a receipt and retain a copy. On this receipt is printed exactly what you have remaining of your package. It is a good system, and you know exactly where you stand.

The crew consisted of mainly Philipinos and some Italians. The Engineers and navigational and administrative crew were mainly Italian with a handful of other nationals The catering and cleaning crew were mainly Phlipino. The level of English spoken was very good. Although Italian was officially the first language, English was widely understood.

There were many nationalities amongst the passengers Italian, French,Spanish Dutch, British,Philipino, South African, German,,Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and we got to know some of them. A good chance to try out my restricted foreign languages.All very friendly and lots of smiles

The amount of traffic on the tannoy system was reasonable. English was usually 4th in line. The accommodation areas were quiet after about 10pm so the children could get to sleep.

The level of service was very good. All of the crew were very pleasant and polite. The dining staff in particular were brilliant with the children. They would quickly serve dishes outside of the main menu, nothing was too much trouble. The whole ship was kept sparkling clean by a crew which happily took pride in the ship.

For the trips ashore at Muscat, you are issued with a local entry and visa card by the immigration officials who come aboard. We later found that our passports had been stamped by them each time we had dis-embarked and embarked. The guided tour of Muscat was good with a really excellent local guide. We visited the Grand Mosque, the Sultan's Palace, the Omani Museum and the Souk. This is the biggest souk in the Middle East and we liked it so much that we went back on foot to get lost there the next morning. Muscat is highly recommended, so beautiful and the people so friendly.

We were on the top deck when we left the port of Muscat. Playing loudly on the deck p.a. System was

It’s time to say goodbye (Con te partirò) sung by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

Con te partirò ( I’ll go with you

su navi per mari ( on ships across seas

che, io lo so, ( which, I know,

no, no, non esistono più. ( no, no, exist no longer.

It’s time to say goodbye…

I never realised before how poignant those words were. With the ship's siren blasting away, there were few dry eyes on deck that evening.

We were too late in booking excursions at Khasab, they were all fully booked. We took the free shuttle bus into town. It is quite small and did not take long to explore. You really need to book an excursion in time. So after a lazy lunch on the ship we tried out The F1 Racing Simulator. At 12 euros for 7 minutes, great fun and reasonable value.

There were also some dance lessons available. A different dance each day with instruction in italian,

In Abu Dhabi we traveled using our Costa Cards as I.D and took the Big Red Bus Tour..This is good value. There is an earpiece (which you keep) commentary in many different languages. It is Hop on-Hop off so you can structure your own trip and spend as long as you wish at each location, so long as you don't miss the last bus back. In most of ports you are not permitted to walk to the gate; you have to be in a vehicle.

In Dubai, we again traveled using our Costa Cards as I.D. and took the Big Red Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour with commentary. Tickets are valid for two routes and for 24 hours. This includes a free trip one way on the water bus across the Dubai Creek. This is on the red route. The blue route takes you down the Palm Jumeirah and passes the Burj Al Arab. The return route passes the famous palatial shopping mall and the Burj Khalifa which is the world's tallest building. There is also a metro and a monorail system which we didn't have time to explore. Useful maps are available on the bus.

So there is a great deal to see here. One day is definitely not enough. Unfortunately my return flight was early next day, so I wished I had booked a hotel for an extra day or two.

For dining, we had a large table on the upper deck (4) of the Ceres Restuarante for the early sitting at 6.30pm. This was exactly as requested. We dined there every evening and the earlier sitting meant that we could take the children to the shows or discos before bedtime. The meals were always superb. Served with Italian style, always five courses plus a side salad.The waiters were really pleasant and efficient. They were really great with the children's food and were really attentive. There were two gala evenings during the week when we did get dressed up. There were some entertainments from the waiters including singing and napkin waiving and a conger dance.There was also a glass of proseco from the Captain. We made use of the squok club for the younger children. This was well run with good security that also scrupulously verified collection of the child. The 6 year old enjoyed it so much that she stayed all day and had two meals whilst the rest of us went on a shore excursion. The elder boy (15) used the teen club on several occasions and enjoyed playing wee games there.

The theatre shows by the resident entertainers involved very professional dancing and singing. Most of the songs were in English with a few french and iIalian songs also, with audience participation. I mean everybody knew volare, cantare oh oh oh oh. A drinks service in the theatre is provided by very agile bar staff, so you do not need to leave your seats. There is no interval as the shows last for just over an hour.One evening there was a kind of talent show which involved varied acts by crew members such as waiters, chefs and engineers etc. This was surprisingly good and very entertaining. An other evening in the theatre was a meet the Captain and officers multilingual affair with free proseco for a toast. I spent part of a pleasant warm evening watching the Andrea Bocelli Christmas Show on the large screen outdoor video screen in the sheltered area on deck 9; more for the oldies though. There was always live music at various parts of the ship and also discos. The daily newsletter (Oggi, Today) which arrived in every cabin each evening, was a useful list of all of the next day's activities.

Disembarkation was well organised with presentations in various languages. These presentations were also available on the video channels. Basically there were two windows for departure either before or after 0730 and two times for collection of luggage from outside each cabin. The luggage would be labelled with colour coded tags for the various different tours and duly delivered to collection points in the embarkation hall. Passports were reclaimed on a per cabin basis.

Boat drill muster took place early on the first day and is compulsory for all passengers. As a first time cruiser and also as this ship was the sister of the Concordia, I took particular attention. We pre-walked the route specified on the back of our cabin door in advance of the actual drill. This route involved using stairways which were nominally 'crew only.' On the actual drill we were shepherded by crew along a different route using the standard stairways. I am sure a knowledge of these secret routes could prove vital in a real emergency. I believe this was done as a time saving measure; but I would say familiarise yourself with all of the safety instructions.

Possibly as as a precaution, and maybe as a result of intelligence received, a letter was sent to all cabins regarding dangerous waters through which we would be sailing. This detailed the alarms that would be given in the event of possible attack at sea by pirates, terrorists etc. In the event of an alarm, passengers were not to use balconies, flash photography over the side would be banned. Certain areas high above the water line such as deck 9 were designated as muster points. I guess the Gulf of Hormuz was perhaps seen as a danger point. However the Serena had just completed a 3 week voyage from Savona, the last week of which took her down the Red Sea,non-stop past Sudan,Eritraer,Djibouti, Somalia and through the Gulf of Aden and then past the Yemen. It was reassuring that Costa had done the risk analysis and produced a plan to deal with such an emergency, however unlikely.

The level of hygiene on the ship was good. We all remained well and were not aware of any gastric type illnesses on board. We were always very careful to wash hands thoroughly before eating and avoided touching surfaces by using elbows, knees and feet to open doors etc.Hand gel dispensers were fitted in the in the buffet areas and most passengers used the individual serving tongs correctly.

As non-smokers we were pleased that the ship's smoking rules were well observed. We were never troubled by people smoking.

In summary, we really enjoyed this cruise and would definitely sail again with Costa. The Serena is a well run happy ship and the food is excellent.

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Sail Date: December 2014

We took the Christmas cruise from Dubai on the Costa Serena in a premium balcony room on deck 8. The room was quiet and well positioned although seemed smaller than the 20sq.m that Costa claim. Room was made up appropriately each day. ... Read More

We took the Christmas cruise from Dubai on the Costa Serena in a premium balcony room on deck 8. The room was quiet and well positioned although seemed smaller than the 20sq.m that Costa claim. Room was made up appropriately each day. The itinerary was good. (Dubai, AbuDhabi, Muscat and Kasabh)

I'd echo other people's concerns about cutbacks. Most of these are simple things but they leave you disappointed. For example, Ice cream machines that never served ice cream, switching off the water machines to force you to buy drinks, no jug water available at dinner, no buffet option available in the evening and none the usual little cruise touches like towel animals. It kinda felt like a budget airline approach.

It showed up in other ways too – Our room wasn't particularly clean with stains and smears on low down and high surfaces in the room. Maintenance of things like the water slide was also lacking- The slide was one of the reason for selecting this particular boat and it didn't operate at all during that cruise.

Breakfast and lunches were fine but evening meals were disappointing as they lacked variety and quality. Nothing really tasted fresh, it was all frozen re-heats; The menus didn't excite or inspire; I had difficulty picking one item rather than difficulty choosing between two.

The main issue is the staff. At time of booking, I had been promised a late departure. There was a different story on the boat. Guest relations did little to resolve my concern, failed to communicate with me and at times were just plain rude. Their management didn't seem to work – perhaps they were off for Christmas or just couldn't be bothered? The “International host” was never available and gave contradictory messages to those of the guest relations team. Even check-in staff and left luggage team were very rude. It's almost as if there is a malaise across the entire crew....

I only read the other reviews after I came home. It seems that I'm not alone in my disappointment. I've been on Costa boats before and loved them – but not this one. If this is indicative of where Costa is taking their business, I won't be booking any more.

My advice to anyone considering the Serena is only buy if it;s cheap and then think of it as budget cruise. Don't waste money on premium rooms and the like. Consider it like a B&B in a sunny climate...

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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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