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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We choose this cruise because we wanted to see a bit of France and the fact that it was from Malta to Malta our country. it was rather a late booking so we had to be content with the dates available. The cheaper price made it more ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we wanted to see a bit of France and the fact that it was from Malta to Malta our country. it was rather a late booking so we had to be content with the dates available. The cheaper price made it more attractive. Embarkation went smoothly but disembarkation at Malta port terminal was rather hectic. We had to walk a long way with considerable luggage since there were no trolleys available. The ship was clean, though refurbishment in some places is needed. The cabin clean, towels soft and bed comfortable. Room temperature rather warm. Dining average. The cruise attracts many seniors with multiple health problems, most of the food was very salty, and food for diabetics limited. Fruit salad offered for dessert contained high sugar content fruit so not suitable for those who cannot take sugar Entertainment was very good and varied. Particularly liked the entertainment team with their great sense of humor and jokes, and the excellent latin dancers and their dancing lessons. Service excellent. Shuttle buses in ports very welcome. Shore excursions varied, rather dear, and mobility problems hindered our joining, I would go again but not too soon. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed every port of call, stunning scenery combined with history and beautiful buildings. The Costa Pacifica was a lovely ship with lots to offer. We dined in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed every port of call, stunning scenery combined with history and beautiful buildings. The Costa Pacifica was a lovely ship with lots to offer. We dined in the Blue Moon restaurant and the food was excellent as was the waiter service. We had a fantastic wine waiter called Herberton who was excellent at his job. We watched all the dance shows in the theatre and the lounge bar, the Afro Arimba dance productions were brilliant. Also in the lounge bar every night was a great band called Cherry Cool and a marvellous lounge singer called Paulo. Our cabin was very well equipped and kept nine and clean all the time. The tour desk was very organised and helpful and if there was a queue you could book online at one of the terminals dotted around the ship and in some cabins on the tv. All in all it was an excellent cruise! PS We used Suntransfers to get to and from the airport, excellent service. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise because it fit well within a month long european trip, and got a good rate ($500 pp). Always wanted to visit Norway, so what the heck. Cruise leaves from Steinwarder dock, which is the hardest one to get to. Some ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it fit well within a month long european trip, and got a good rate ($500 pp). Always wanted to visit Norway, so what the heck. Cruise leaves from Steinwarder dock, which is the hardest one to get to. Some fellow cruisers were under the impression that the cruiseline was running a free shuttle from the central train station to port, but that was not the case. FYI, the cheapest way to get to the terminal from the airport is to take the S bahn to Landingsbrucken (sp?), then the 73 ferry to Argentinienbruke stop, from there it's about a ten minute walk, 20 if you're slow like me. Total cost - 3.20 Euro. Getting on the ship was worse than the usual mayhem. They give you a group number, then call you to line up when that number is called. So there is this hoard of people waiting in a mass for their number to be called. What is the point of making you stand in line twice? Not enough seating, no refreshments provided, outside of a pay bar. I decided to watch and learn for a few minutes, here's what you want to do. When you get your number, try to find a place to wait comfortably, which won't be easy. Watch the line, you will learn the pattern of when they call the numbers. Wait until the line gets to where they will call the number after yours and then swoop in and get in line before they call that next number. This method cut our line standing down to about 10 minutes compared to an hour for everyone else. Better yet, pick a different cruise. Like I mentioned, got a really good rate for this cruise. That being said, if I hadn't and had paid more, I would have been even more disappointed. I mistakenly thought that a Costa Cruise would be similar to Carnival, since they are jointly owned. Don't. The stateroom is really the only thing that met expectations, it was fine. Everything else is lacking. Service was rude, especially the dining staff. Asked to see a dinner menu a couple of times and you'd thought I'd asked for the world. Never once did the slightest feeling of being pampered come to mind, were treated more like an intrusion than anything else. After arriving on the ship my husband wanted a cup of coffee and was told to go to the bar and pay 2 euro for a cup. This did not go over well. We then learned that "free" coffee is only served at breakfast, in the dining room at dinner, and from 4-5 each day in the buffett. We have never been on a cruise that didn't have 24 hour coffee somewhere on the ship. Ice tea or lemonaide? Fuggetaboutit, it's water or water, and the last day they didn't even provide ice. Dining was unimpressive at best. Beef or pork offered only a couple of times at the buffet, usually drug out the cheap starchy stuff over and over. Absolutely no variety at breakfast, exactly the same daily whether in dining room or buffet, and at the latter they make you go on a expedition to find eggs. Dining times are severely restricted as well, and if you don't get to the pushy buffett within the first 60 of the 90 minutes allotted, your options are even more limited. Miss the dining hours and you are out of luck, no free pizza, softserve, anything. Oh and the hamburgers and hot dogs are precooked and they serve them in cardboard containers, didn't try them because they looked so unappealing. Planned our own excursions so can't comment on them, entertainment on ship was severely lacking imo, if you didn't want to listen to music or dance, there wasn't anything else to do. Movies on the big screen would have been nice, don't expect any movies on your TV, pay extra for those like everything else, and the only english channels were a very fuzzy BBC and (god help us) Fox News. Do yourself a favor and visit beautiful Norway by another method, I honestly think I would have probably enjoyed the ferry more. Don't say you weren't warned. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We are regular Costa cruisers in our mid 50's. The itinerary appealed to us. We started in Savona and disembarked in Hamburg. 8/5/16(Sunday) Stansted to Milan. Transfer to Savona and embark. 9/5/16: (Monday) Marseille. 08h00-13h00. ... Read More
We are regular Costa cruisers in our mid 50's. The itinerary appealed to us. We started in Savona and disembarked in Hamburg. 8/5/16(Sunday) Stansted to Milan. Transfer to Savona and embark. 9/5/16: (Monday) Marseille. 08h00-13h00. 10/5/16(Tuesday) Cruising 11/5/16: (Wednesday) Cadiz. 09h00-18h00. 12/5/16: (Thursday) Lisbon.08h00-17h00. 13/5/16(Friday) Vigo.09h00-19h00 14/5/16: (Saturday) Cruising 15/5/16: (Sunday) Le Havre. 09h00-20h00. 16/5/16: (Monday) Dover08h00-20h00 17/5/16 :( Tuesday) Cruising 18/5/16: (Wednesday) Hamburg. 08h00-disembark Preparation started the Wednesday before the cruise. The 3 fur balls needed their flea/dewormer drops prior to going to the Cat Hotel. Immediate suspicion! It did not help that our elderly lady had to go to the vet for blood tests as well. Mum in the dog box or is that litter tray? On the Saturday before departure the cats were boxed up and taken to the cat hotel. Only then could the suitcases come out and packing commenced. I had to pack for 12 days and flying Ryan air made that quite an art. We were flying from Stansted to Milan from where we had a Costa transfer to Savona. I was in a total panic about this because our flight was supposed to land in Milan at 11h30 and the transfer was supposed to leave at 12h00. Costa told us that they won’t wait for longer than 15 minutes and if we were late we would have to make our own way to Savona. Our trusty Taxi man Mark collected us at 05h40 and we were at Stansted about 35 minutes later. Apparently he does not get many speeding fines. It was the usual scrum at Stansted and I did not know that the Kindle needed to be in the tray for security so I had my case searched. Lesson learnt. We had a coffee at our usual watering hole and were once again surprised to see people drinking alcohol before breakfast. “Vodka and coke please”. Yuck. Don’t get me wrong as I like a drink as much as the next person. But that early in the morning? Trusty old Ryan air landed 15 minutes early in Milan. We were outside the airport in next to no time and after asking the MSC lady whether she knew where the Costa rep was (what’s new Costa) and finding her, we started waiting. Not even a Coach in sight! We eventually got on the coach at about 12h30 and went to another terminal before we set off. Panic over. When we arrived at Savona the terminal was still full of people waiting to board. This was around 16h00 and we were supposed to leave at 17h00. Thankfully we have priority boarding and after filling in the usual forms we were on board. We nipped off to our cabin and got our cards and headed for the atrium bar to have a drink before the emergency drill. I am not going to comment about the drill. I know it is annoying but it has to be done. The Pacifica is a lovely ship. She is similar in layout to the Magica, Serena and Fortuna with the 3 bars at the back on deck 5, the Grand bar in the middle on deck 5 and the atrium bar on deck 3. We did get the pronunciation of the name wrong. PahCheePheekah. Considering she is a few years old, the only thing that I felt needed upgrading, was the carpeting. The decor is the usual Costa idea. Quite bright, but certainly not as vile as some would let you believe. Are cruise ships not about a bit of bling? We had a classic balcony cabin on deck 6 towards the aft area of the ship just above the piano bar. The only night I was woken by noise was the last one when the suit case collection happened. The cabin was clean and well-kept by the lovely Gilda. We do not take part in the activities but there were lots of people who take dancing very seriously and dressed the part down to the proper dancing shoes. I wondered how many suit cases they had because one lady had a different pair to match every outfit. We only went to the theatre twice and neither performances were brilliant. Sury Boltman performed and we previously saw him on the NeoRomantica. I think the show was identical to that one. There was also a tenor who had an OK voice but he had a break after every song and was just mopping himself and having a drink of water. He did not even have a bit of music playing whilst he was mopping. We skipped most of the others because the illusionist sounded as if it was the same woman who performed on the Diadema when we were on her in February and she was pretty poor. If there was any decent dancing we missed it. The performers in the bars were so- so. We were disappointment again. The last time we had excellent performers on board was the Serena. The service varied. As usual the excursion desk and hospitality desks were poor. The bar and restaurant staff was different on this ship being mostly from Brazil and Peru. They were mostly friendly but we did not really connect with anyone in particular and I thought their English was not as good as the usual crew from the Philippines and India. We had a little disaster with the evening meals. We asked for early sitting but then upgraded to a balcony and did not mention this again. I think it was usual to get second sitting for classic cabins but Gold Pearl (hubby) used to get an option to change. I think this has actually changed with the new Costa club and would advise people to read the fine print. We ended up with second sitting which is too late for us. The result was eating in the Pizza pay restaurant nearly every evening. We were well looked after by Maryane and Marcella but it was not easy to have a conversation due to the language issue previously mentioned. The place was mostly deserted except for Costa officers and us. We ate lunch in the MDR a few times and the food was OK. It has become a little samey over the recent years and like the entertainers I recognised some of the dishes. There is an evening buffet between 7 and 9. It started later on the days we left port late (Le Havre and Dover). The food was not great. Breakfast was also a little different. The last few times hot food was only available in the MDR. On the Pacifica they had self-service hot food (scrambled egg, boiled eggs, bacon, sausages and rosti). This was also available in the grill area on the pool deck. The also made omelettes and fried eggs at this station. We only had lunch at the buffet once. We went to the grill and had hamburgers. The chips were very good but I though the hamburger buns were too dry. Usually the passengers on Costa are pre-dominantly Italian and French which a fair amount of Germans. This time they were pre-dominantly German. I have never seen so many glasses of beer been drunk on a Costa ship before. This brings me to the drinks package. The Piu Gusto is very good value for money because it includes most of the listed cocktails, wine by the glass etc. Premium brands of spirits are excluded but if you want a decent G+T you can ask for Gordons and tonic for example. There are packages available on ship that is not available to look at on line. The ports: Savona-did not explore as this was embarkation day and we have been there many times before. Marseille: The weather was a bit dismal and we only had the morning. We spent it looking for a shop to buy deodorant as we both forgot to pack! Day at sea. It was blustery and rough when we left Marseille but improved the next day. I spent my day reading and hubby was watching BBC documentaries he recorded on the iPlayer. Cadiz: Another slightly bleak and windy day. We were planning to go to Gibraltar but the excursion was cancelled due to lack of English speakers. It saved our bacon because it would have been miserable on that rock. We were walking about looking for a restaurant and it looked as if the heavens were about to open. We went into a little neighbourhood bar and had a small glass of beer each, 80 cents! We had our meal at the restaurant next door and it was mainly full of tourists though we were the first in. I had a few Tapas and hubby had an enormous T-bone steak. The food was fine but not exceptional. What was exceptional was that it was raining so hard that that the restaurant had its own waterfall coming through one of the light fittings. We decided to go back to the ship and got absolutely drenched. About Cadiz: They now have a tourist kiosk just outside the port gate and can supply you with a map. The streets have coloured markings on and you can follow various routes. We have done this in the past and did not repeat the same. Lisbon: It’s a lovely city but very hilly. Once again we got off the ship in pouring rain and had to take shelter. The ship docks close to the Alfama area so it is a bit of a walk to the centre. There were HoHo buses, Taxis and Tuktuks. The station was just across the road from the ship. We walked to the Praca do Comercio where we asked about the Tram 28. You buy a ticket on the tram but as mentioned on TripAdvisor it is jam packed all year round. The HoHo ones look the same and they were empty. We decided to just walk about. Did I mention hills? We planned lunch at the Café Lisboa at the Opera House. It is one of Jose Avillez's restaurants. So off we went to find it. Stairs at steep angles! We found it and booked a table and wandered off to explore the area. I noticed there were free walking tours on one of the squares. By now I have already exceeded my daily steps (step counter on phone, I have now upgraded to a wrist band), and opted to sit and people watch and have a beer instead. We went on to have the best meal of our trip. We decided on small plates instead of a starter and mains. He takes traditional Portuguese dishes and presents them in a more modern way. We had spider crab, croquettes, 2 different pies and prawns. I had a pastei natia for desert. Everything divine. We also had a bottle of “green wine”. Gorgeous. What goes up must come down. Down all those steps back to the Praca. It was now bathed in glorious sunshine and we decided to have a drink at the Beer Museum. Not beer though, the lovely light “Green wine” that they make locally. Then there was a sudden down pour. Seems to be a theme to our holiday. As I have exceeded my steps by far we got a TukTuk back to the ship. It was starting to rain again. Vigo: The town with amazing sculptures and……hills. My plan was to go to the tourist office to get some brochures because it was very difficult to see properly on the maps on the Vigo tourism app. We got a map as we left the ship but it was not what I wanted. WARNING: the tourism office does not open till 10am. So off we went and it was not raining. Just overcast and a little bleak looking. It’s a pretty town to stroll around. The castle was a bridge too far. I know from TripAdvisor and CC lots of people go up for the amazing view but I could not face the trek. I had a misinterpretation about lots of seafood restaurants close to the fish market. They turned out to be Oyster Street which is very touristy. Here we had our most bizarre meal ever. The restaurant was pretty deserted when we arrived. The Spanish eat later than us. I had calamari to start and Hubby and 6 oysters. We then shared a seafood platter. The owner’s wife took it on herself to see that we ate the food in the correct order and this left the spider crab for last. She then prepared this for us by adding white meat, prawns and muscles as well as something like a tomato salsa. This was then ladled onto pieces of toast and we were told to “eat”. She was very sweet but for 2 reserved Brits this was a bridge too far. Another day at sea: Did the same thing as previously. This evening we ate in the Samsara restaurant because we get a complimentary meal in one of the pay for restaurants. We were not in the main section of the restaurant which was good. The menu follows the same format as the MDR but the courses are a little more adventurous. Hubby had a pasta dish with fresh tuna and said some did not taste quite right. I was not keen to check which was a good thing because he spent the night with food poisoning symptoms and was very ill the next day. He spent the whole day sleeping. We did not make a complaint. Le Havre: The sun shone! Hubby was ill in bed and I spent the day on the balcony frying my white legs and reading my book. We did not have much planned for the day so it was not a great loss. Dover: Now this was a surprise! We often do driving holidays to France. We never use the ferries so we leave the motorway to get the train to cross. I cannot recall whether Costa had a transfer to town. There was a bus which ran into town and up to Dover Castle and stopped a few other places. It is not the usual HoHo. I have unfortunately forgotten the name and fee but we thought it was very reasonable at the time. They accepted Euros and Pounds and I think US dollars as well. There were some issues getting a bus back to the ship around lunch time and they really did not plan for this. The distance from the town centre to the port was a lot further than I anticipated and it was really not scenic with massive road works. I would avoid walking this due to the high volumes of traffic and fuel fumes you’re likely to breathe in if you did. We went up to Dover castle and actually found it a really pleasant visit. Do I sound surprised? We live in England and often find visiting attractions here an absolute rip off. We walked around, visited the medieval tunnels (waste of time), the underground hospital (it would be better if they did not have the silly special effects as it did nothing for either of us), and the castle. I thought this was good despite two volunteers telling me two totally different stories. The best part of the visit ? 2 pots of proper English tea! Another day at sea: Same as before. There were some quizzes and dance lessons but we don’t partake in these. Hubby calls it Butlin’s at sea. Never been to Butlin’s so I don’t know if he is right about that. Hamburg: The route towards the city is really pretty on the river. It is worth getting up a little earlier to sit and watch. I think the captain was a bit over confident getting the ship into the bit of the river where the new cruise terminal is and we were stuck until a tug came to our rescue. The terminal is very new and we managed to get our cases quickly. The plan was to get the shuttle to the central station and then a taxi to our hotel as we booked for a post cruise stay. We found the waiting area after asking many people and waited, and waited. The crowds were building by this time and I was getting irritated. We walked to the taxi area and got a very expensive taxi to our hotel. Our lady driver in her Mercedes was very speedy and we were at the hotel in next to no time. Sofitel Alterwal Hamburg: We chose this hotel because of its location and because hubby is an Accor member. The room was an upgrade and had a lovely seating area with a large television, coffee machine, fridge full of expensive drinks and a gorgeous bathroom with bath and shower. The bed had two single duvets and was a little soft for my liking. It was like sleeping on a giant marshmallow. We were very close to the Rathouse and restaurants. There was a large shopping centre close by and we manage to get a few bottles of wine to put in the fridge rather than use the expensive bar in the hotel. We did however have our freebie glass of wine which came with lovely snacks at 10 Euros each. We did not eat breakfast in the hotel because it was really expensive. There is a little restaurant/take away very close to the hotel where we had fresh orange juice, coffee, a roll and a pastry for 15 Euros. Hamburg is a lovely clean city and the area around the hotel was easy to explore. We wanted to see more of the city and rather than use public transport the hotel staff suggest using HoHo which stopped outside the hotel. BIG mistake! Though they are called HoHo they do not stop at every stop and we found the first guide on the bus extremely rude. He was on the top deck and we were unable to hear what he said. Hubby asked him whether he spoke English only to be told very curtly: “Yes, I went to school and you should have listened to what I said earlier”. So we were none the wiser and as we whizzed past places we wanted to get off, decided that it was indeed a bad choice. It stopped at the harbour area and we had to wait for a long while before we managed to get another one. We eventually ended at the Central station where it stopped for over half an hour before it set off again. We wanted to go to the botanical gardens but it was getting late for lunch at this stage so we decided to give it a miss and got off close to Alex on the inner lake and did not use the bus again. Lesson learnt. We left early the next morning. There was a Metro close to the hotel with a train that went directly to the airport. It was a bit of a performance using the ticket machine but the tickets were very reasonable and the train was clean and quick. The only problem was getting the suitcases down the stairs which hubby obligingly did. We flew back to Heathrow on BA and our trusty Taxi man, Mark, collected us. We have now booked a spur of the moment Baltic cruise leaving Stockholm on 9 July. Costa slashed the price of some of the departures and old beady eyes himself saw this and we are booked and excited. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this voyage because the timing allowed us to complete an earlier Princess cruise; spend a week driving the northern lake region of Italy; pick up this cruise, and then put us in position to cruise back to the States. (We were ... Read More
We chose this voyage because the timing allowed us to complete an earlier Princess cruise; spend a week driving the northern lake region of Italy; pick up this cruise, and then put us in position to cruise back to the States. (We were celebrating our 60th anniversary/80th birthdays...while we both were still standing.) We've traveled Costa previously. Costa Cruise Line may not be for everyone; it has been good for/to us. For whatever reason, some travel agents will not book you on Costa. If you find this to be the case and you really like your agent, book the cruise yourself and having done that, transfer the booking to your travel agent. Failing that, book the cruise yourself and forget the agent. Costa, in Europe, caters to typically not less than 6 nationalities aboard the ship. Your announcements are therefore (typically) in 6 different languages! Italian, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English. With the increase in Asian tourists, do not be surprised if additional groups are catered to. The preceding isn't bad, it just "is". Since the groups mentioned are on board, the ship's tours are offered in the respective language. That's the good news. The bad new if not enough people of a group book the tour; the tour is cancelled. The option is to join another group's "language" tour. The tour office is well organized and joining the correct tour is typically a non-event. Regarding dining room seating, somehow you are seated with a group that speaks your language. The food is OK. Formal nights are a farce (at least on this cruise). Tennis shorts and sweater around the neck was allowed. Entertainment was generally good+. The "My Way" dining room is less crowded since the majority of guests opt for the NY one. Service was fine in the dining room. Their main floor show is excellent with good cast. The other shows are good/typical. As with all cruises, there are daily events throughout the day such as lectures/demonstrations/movies and such. Their Internet room is fine. There are also stores in which to shop and naturally a Casino. Their "front desk" will change money (U.S./Euro/Pounds) which is important since you'll need $20 in pounds if you are going on a tour in Britain and plan to snack/have coffee. If Costa is going at the time you want to go; to the place(s) you want to go...the go with Costa...if nothing else, the price will be right! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Just returned from a cruise. This time with Costa, the Costa Pacifica. My wife and I are cruising enthusiasts. We have travelled on several cruising lines. Being both retired,we prefare to travel in the off season quiet months. We ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise. This time with Costa, the Costa Pacifica. My wife and I are cruising enthusiasts. We have travelled on several cruising lines. Being both retired,we prefare to travel in the off season quiet months. We are Costa Club members. On the past cruises with Costa, we were greeted in our cabin with champaigne and a fruit basket. This time we were greeted with the misery of a bottle of water with a silly note hung around its neck. On touring the ship we discovered that the chapel had to do without a religious minister. I am not too much of a devotee, but Costa used to boast of its Italian roots and values, which made it stand out among others. During the late hours some guests had to close the insulation corridor doors to cut off some of the noisy fracas made by the night revellers on the reception/piano lounge. I encourage economy on waste, but not on reputation standards. The staff was as usual fantastic and really did all what they could to keep up the hospitality of Costa. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with ... Read More
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with beautiful decor, large wide hallways and elevator banks. We had an ocean view and an inside room which were both quite spacious. Because of the language barrier on this ship (probably 6-7) different nationalities, shows are a challenge to appeal to everyone. There were of course the ship dance and singing group which were good, very fast paced with lots of costume changes. Most other shows were acts that didn't require a lot of talking, quite a few small dance groups which after the first 5 minutes seems to be all the same and realize they were good at the chosen dance but maybe not adequate for an hour show. Lots of acrobatic acts which were all good but after 3 or 4 of them there's only so much they can do different. All in all we thought they were quite good. A few "magic" or illusionist acts which were disappointing as they were so far back on the stage and in the dark you could barely see - if they were as good as they proclaimed moved to the front of the stage. Really liked the Mime. However, we found there was nothing to do after the show of interest to us and could definitely have better entertainment in piano bars or other areas. - excursions - although we rarely take an excursion, we enjoyed a couple and found they are really well organized and you can book any of them right up to the time they are leaving. They just keep getting more buses to accommodate the people wanting to go - this is a great idea and certainly go the extra mile there. - ship was very timely. Cons Incredibly poor customer service - with the exception of our dining room waiter, Rex, we found on average there is immense improvement needed in this area. We realize this is a problem which needs to come from the top and don't wholly blame the employees, however, some tasks should be a given when it comes to dealing with paying customers. - buffets for lunch and breakfast were set up poorly - a separate salad bar needs to be set up away from hot meal items. Experienced long very slow lines with huge gaps after the salad options which resulted in people skipping ahead which is understandable - we boarded in Santos, Brazil. Brazil is a country blessed with beautiful fruit grown locally and you would think the ship would have stocked up with some tasty varieties of fruit but not the case. Fruit was sparse and selection was poor consisting mainly of pineapple, kiwi, honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe and only got for breakfast. Where is the passion fruit, papaya, mangos to only name a few that we sampled at a local food market? What was there was devoured by those of us not interested in the huge variety of cakes, breads and pastries for breakfast. - in the lunch buffets especially, tables are piling up with dirty dishes with staff standing around, hence customers need to clear tables themselves. - we wonder if staff are happy in their jobs because it just seemed like they all went through the motions - even the bosses in the buffets were unfriendly and believe we were greeted one time in 20 days by a supervisor so it seems staff under them aren't taught those skills. - shower wasn't draining, reported it to the steward who in turn told her she had to go down to the main desk and deal with it herself - really!? - wasn't feeling well one night so ordered a juice at one of the main bars and was basically told I would have to go to one of the other bars for that. - first night on the ship after a long day touring without lunch, decided to go to the dinner buffet instead of getting dressed up for dining room, the only thing we found there was a couple pieces of dried out pizza - to our surprise there is was no large dinner buffet and to our knowledge there never was. - so, in the dining room we ordered a wine, first they opened the wrong wine and then we found out they did not have the one we ordered - the first night? - Our poor waiter, Rex, had a helper that obviously had "0" training in the dining room. From what we saw he was more of a hinderance than a help - Rex had to tell him what to do and when to do it, he had no self-starter skills and Rex was doing 90% of the work looking after all his tables - again, at least some training should be done before he serves in the dining room and again needs to come from above. Because of this, we were almost always still eating our desert when they were trying to get us out for the 2nd seating, service was incredibly slow because Rex had no help. - Costa for some reason uses all bottled water in the dining rooms. Unless your package included water, you had to pay for your water with dinner which we couldn't believe. Not to mention the impact all those bottles have on the environment, are they recycling? Because of this people were refilling water bottles at the water machines around the ship - understandable, then signs appeared on machines to not do this which of course people ignored. - had coffee, tea, terrible watered down juices and milk available for free at breakfast buffet but were not available at lunch - language barrier comes into play for English speaking clients, although they try the English announcements are still with an undesirable accent in most cases and hard to understand, if translation is done at all. No lectures on any of the ports telling you about the history on things you might see on excursions or giving you information on what there is to do if you don't want to pay for an excursion. We went to what we thought was going to be an information session on the ports but all it entailed was a gal selling just the excursions and absolutely no other information. Costa is also very happy to sell transports into the different towns at a much higher cost when there is usually free transport with a small walk from the ship (they don't tell you about that option) I have to mention the total zoo that is the disembarkation. We disembarked at Savona, Italy. Our time was supposed to be 9:45 and our color was orange, but after more than two hours later we finally decided we were getting off as we wanted to get on with our day - we'd go grab our luggage and catch a cab to our hotel in Genoa. Well, wow! We soon found they only set out the luggage for the colours having already been called. People were all getting very upset as they were missing flights and other timelines so were a lot of people like us who had gotten off so they could get on with it only to find the bags were only being brought in as the colours really called. We ended up standing around at least another hour waiting for the "workers" who are obviously Union to bring the bags in most taking one at a time. Very frustrating to watch the work ethic there. Our pain did not stop there. There were no taxis waiting for the hoards of people needing one and no attendant keeping the peace or ordering them which was badly needed as at this time people were getting majorly pissed and trying to jump the que as were missing flights and trains. The other problem was there was another Costa ship that disembarked before us so got all the taxis. This terminal is owned by Costa so they should be prepared for the influx of people needing taxis - just another example of the poor and almost non-existent customer service on Costa. Cleaning - where do I start! - walked into stateroom, on the main counter there were smudges of mascara leftover from who knows when. I left it there on purpose to see if our steward "Renata" would clean it - never did in 20 days and I bet they are still there today. The finger prints and smudges on the inside of our stateroom door were unbelievable - no cleaner had been used there for many cruises - ewwww! - my sister was sitting in the buffet dining area in between meals as was quiet for reading and was able to see first hand the lack of cleaning. Tables were not cleaned with any cleaner but crumbs were just swept off with a dry cloth. On other ships we've been on there is constant cleaning being done along with maintenance, not so much with Costa and that is why the whole ship was sick after about a week. Hand sanitizers were at the doorways, but I never saw anyone use them as no one was standing there making sure they were used - this should be a must especially when the silverware is not wrapped separately in napkins but is being touched by many dirty fingers in public bins. Sun decks would go days without being cleaned as spills were still evident from days before. Never smelled a cleaner and hardly saw anyone cleaning so.... Food Was absolutely terrible. First of all most everything is frozen and then cooked, nothing is prepared fresh and it tasted like it. Food is very bland and hard to find anything with spice of any kind. If you like a lot of breads, pastries, cakes, etc. You will be in heaven on this line. The menu in the dining rooms includes items as normal and then they have meals that would be offered by any other line for free, are charged for. For example, on formal nights you could get lobster that is a norm on other cruise lines for free, but here you had to pay for it - could not believe it. Had a gentleman we ate dinner with that had a restaurant meal for $35 US included in his package - he said to save your money as is no better than the dining room. Ports On the whole we enjoyed the ports as there is so much history in those parts of the world - always something to see and learn about. In our opinion there were too many ports in Brazil - Rio, Ilheus and Salvador were nice stops but Maceio and Recife are a waste of time as not much to see - and Brazil on the whole is not a safe place. As always when travelling, you must always be aware of those around you and who is watching you. My husband was approached in a few ports by people who told him he was being watched as he was carrying a backpack and to be aware - makes you kind of paranoid. But on the other hand we were also helped by locals who knew no English who tried to help us find our way and tried to keep us safe by giving us the best routes to take. Loved Gilbralter and Barcelona and hope someday to go back as more time can definitely be spent especially in Barcelona. We started to think maybe we were just being picky, but after talking with other cruisers, we soon realized it was definitely not just us. The standard we are used to with Princess, Royal Caribbean or even Carnival is just not there and Costa likes to nickel and dime you that is very apparent. I think you get the drift about our opinion of Costa and can make your own decision on whether to vacation with this line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed ... Read More
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed up just prior to leaving port), no room card give and no indication of where and when we would receive this. Once on the ship we headed to our rooms and there was the room unlocked and the card on the bed. We toured a little and then went to the buffet for supper as we had toured all day and were tired. To our surprise there was NO buffet, a few slices of dry pizza and wilted salad. We quickly changed and off we when to find our dining room - we had had no communication as to which one we were in or our dining time. Found a bar steward who directed us - got to the dining room, no one to seat you - just pointed in the general direction and left to find your table on your own. Ordered wine, charged the wrong price +$10 - had a great head waiter "Rex" and his NEW helper that was his first day and had obviously NEVER worked in any form of dining service! There were only 3 of us at our table for 8 that night and it took 2.5 hours to get our wine, water, main and dessert. The wine and water took 50 minutes. The helper didn't get any better over the duration of the cruise and had to be directed on every little task throughout the entire 20 days. The Food overall has no taste and meat very tough and usually over cooked. Menu undesirable, most nights unable to pick as nothing sounds appealing. Never vegetables served with main course. Breakfast buffet - terrible, mounds of sweets but fruit is almost nonexistent. Only time you could get coffee with a meal with out being charged extra for it was during breakfast out of the large carafes. Lunch buffets are disappointing, with tasteless food and lots if times food is cold and even still frozen. never changed generally offered the same every day. Costa is All about the extra $, no education about the ports to be visited, only about the offers through ship. Free transportation to town is offered 300m from ship but all that is told is transportation is $14. Ship has very poor cleaning standards, never in 20 days did I witness a table being cleaned and sanitized between guests or even between meals. Cleaning on the deck the same low standard, observed workers wiping and drying but in a 30, minute period never cleaning the cloth or using a cleaner of any sort. Shows had a great assortment and were very entertaining, but when that was done for the evening there was nothing else to do. Did one excursion off the ship - it was good and could purchase tickets up until the time to go as they kept adding busses as needed - EXCELLENT. Over all was very disappointed with the cruise and will not go with Costa again as all previous cruises have been with Princess and Costa can't compete. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had just spent 8 days cruising the amazon river, we thought this would be an ideal way to return home without the long flight, My husband and I have cruised with a number of cruise companies including Costa although this was some years ago and was excellent then( it was the first cruise we had ever done). I have to say the standard now is extremely poor, regretably this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. Even low budget cruise lines offer a better experience than Costa do now. It would appear that the line is so dedicated to saving money that customer satisfaction has been forgotten. If you wish to have tea/coffee with your meals (apart from breakfast) you have to pay for it, no water with evening meal unless you pay for it! Coffee and tea available only between 4.00 and 5.00 pm, unless of course you wanted to pay extra for it. The food in the dining room was very poor, and the self service restaurant rarely available in the evening. The waiter/ under waiter were very good. The food in the self service area was better although not as well organised as it could be. The area was so crowded that after you had secured a table one of your party could get theIr meal first whilst the other reserved the spot (therefore not really eating together). The evening shows were generally poor. The excursions are expensive but I think in line with other cruise companies, The staff were very good although we didn't have contact with many as we are not generally interested in the entertainment. I can see why the tips are compulsory - because a lot of passengers would be reluctant to give what is recommended after such a disappointing holiday, what appeared to be a reasonable priced cruise turned out to be quite expensive and not good value for money. I don't usually do reviews, I think this will give you an idea of how poor this cruise was. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING, WE WON'T BE TRAVELING WITH COSTA AGAIN. YOUR COST CUTTING WILL COST YOU CUSTOMERS. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I'm sorry to have to write this and perhaps add to Costas problems, however I believe people should be able to make an informed decision. We went on this cruise with no prior views on the changes Costa has made in recent months. On the ... Read More
I'm sorry to have to write this and perhaps add to Costas problems, however I believe people should be able to make an informed decision. We went on this cruise with no prior views on the changes Costa has made in recent months. On the good side we booked directly with costa UK and got a good bargain for a premium balcony cabin. if I had paid any more I would probably be more scathing in this review. Embarcation was a shambles. Rome was not the main port for embarcation, but i still ended having to queue in 4 different wrong lines after being directed by costa staff. All costa seemed to be interested in was to sell the all inclusive beverage package, which compared to other lines seems to be a good deal. This being the case, there was only water available during breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Tea and coffee was only available at breakfast time and during afternoon tea. Any other time it had to be purchased. Unless you had purchased the package or had the USA water exemption, water had to be purchased at dinner. Food at night was good, however if you missed your set dining, the only other option was to pay for food. Don't know what happened if you were on a costa excursion and came back after your seating time however. Lunch was varied, but with the same choices every day. Breakfast was diabolical. If you wanted anything either than a continental breakfast, the dining room was an option serving "International" fare. This was wait served And consisted of a full English - bacon, eggs, terrible brownish coloured beans etc., if for example you did not want eggs, this was not an option - you always had to have the lot as it was a preset plate. A Belgian breakfast - waffle and synthetic cream, an AMerican breakfast - pancakes and maple syrup and I can't remember what else as after the second day of trying to queue, and it was a long queue, I lost the will and kept to the buffets at the Lido. These were the same every day, nothing varied whatsoever, but you could get tea, coffee, water and concentrated fruit juices -until they turned the machines off. Entertainment was dire. Ok if you liked to hear the same Italian songs sung by different singers. There were good acts, one female singer, one male singer, an illusionist that was good but there was a lot of walking and prancing about, a variety show that was saved by a man using members of the audience and proceeding to pick their pockets. The dancers were average and unfortunately they put a show on every other day. There was major uncertainty about the itinerary, one of the stops was Ashdod, but this was cancelled. We were notified at embarkation therefore had no time to rearrange any private tours. Seems ironic that they could email me to remind me to book costa tours and the beverage package but not about things like rescheduling stops. At nine o clock when we were having dinner, either the day prior to a sea day, or the day before, the stop, I'm sorry I can't remember, but the port of Crete was cancelled due to industrial action at the port and was replaced with santorini. All in all the cruise was turning into a mystery tour! We had no choice but to book a costa tour for a full day in Galilee on the 7th November, but this was excellent due to the guide. We also had a wonderful meal at a hotel, which to be honest was the best meal we had all trip. They took our passports off us at embarkation and kept them until we got to Isreal despite us requesting them back for when we went ashore. We asked what would happen if we missed the ship at one of the ports, we were told that our costa card would be sufficient. I can just imagine how that would go down if we tried to book an airline ticket! The queue to get the passport back was incredible. All in all any arrangement by costa was shambolic, but no one seemed to care. I talked to several people who, for them, this was their first cruise, and have stated that they will never cruise again. Shame, as it's a wonderful experience. The entertainment staff in general were noisy, shouting even when they had microphones. One good thing though was if you liked ballroom dancing, they did actively encourage it with lessons on Deck and dance partners in the evening. This seemed to be enjoyed by a lot of people. If you want a library book - forget it, take your own. If you want games, unless you booked them out early you had no chance. All in all we have cruised with costa 4 times now, and this will be the last unless they get their act together. Read Less
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