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5 Costa neoRiviera Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise primarily because it stopped in Madagascar, however, a few days before departure we were notified they would not be stopping at Madagascar because of the plague. We, of course, were notified too late to cancel so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because it stopped in Madagascar, however, a few days before departure we were notified they would not be stopping at Madagascar because of the plague. We, of course, were notified too late to cancel so we proceeded with the trip. For the most part the cruise was fantastic. Wonderful crew, great food, spacious and private cabin. Since we were not going to Madagascar we were given an OBC and told we would get a 30% discount certificate for a future trip. Due to a medical problem of mine the ships Doctor decided we would not be allowed back on the ship at Reunion even though I had the proper medication. We, therefore, were abandoned on Reunion to fend for ourselves. Due to the Christmas Holidays no seats were available on the flights to Mauritius where we had our on going reservations. The result was that we had to wait at the Reunion airport all day to finally get two standby seats to Mauritius. I have written to Customer Care at Costa (Italy & Miami) several times about the 30% discount certificate, but have been totally ignored. They won't respond at all. The cruise, food, cabin and excursions were one of the best ever, but the Customer Care is a farce and enough reason to never use Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We were not sure what to expect as this was our 14th cruise but first with Costa. Previous cruises were with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and ports of call. ... Read More
We were not sure what to expect as this was our 14th cruise but first with Costa. Previous cruises were with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and ports of call. I had read previous reports and fortunately did not base our decision on these reviews. The cabins were spacious (for a cruise ship) and spotlessly clean. We had the option of having the room made up once or twice a day and selected twice a day. Previous reports talked about the rudeness of other passengers and the pushing and shoving. We never experienced any of this. We did not encounter any other English passengers but all the crew spoke English. If you are English speaking and you are looking to socialize with other guests, this will not be the cruise for you. The crew were AMAZING! They went out of their way to help make our experience memorable. We ate in the dining room 4 out of the 7 nights. There was pasta on the menu each night, so even if we didn't like the featured choices, we could always get a good plate of spaghetti! Because of the late departure on 2 of the nights, we ate ashore. The entertainment was varied and there were multiple dancing venues. I can highly recommend the NeoRiviera. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have just returned from a back to back middle east cuise sailing on the costa Neo-rivierra for a total of 30 nights. The first week was spent sailing around the UAE and then a 23 night crossing from Dubai to Genova in Italy. The ... Read More
We have just returned from a back to back middle east cuise sailing on the costa Neo-rivierra for a total of 30 nights. The first week was spent sailing around the UAE and then a 23 night crossing from Dubai to Genova in Italy. The following is our opinion on this cruise experience. We try to be fair with our viewpoints on every cruise we do, other passengers on this cruise may have a different opinion than ours. Flight, pre cruise stay and embarkation. We flew to London for a couple of days before the cruise and then took an overnight flight with British Airways from London heathrow to Dubai. The evening hot meal was a choice of meat or veg curry and was suprisingly tasty. Breakfast was a dissapointment, just a cereal bar, juice and tea or coffee. Entertainment system was good and flight was comfortable for the 6h.45m flight. I had assistance at the airport and immigration was fast and efficient. We used the Dubai metro to get to our hotel and bought a gold NOL card. The first class carraige at the front of the train had room for luggage and was not as crowded as the other compartments. It was very easy to use and cost 25 Dirham,with a 19 Dirham credit included. Our hotel was the Novotel Mall of the emirates suites, 2 metro stops within easy walking distance. The hotel was clean and welcoming,all the staff were friendly, our suite was large and comfortable and it was made available as soon as we arrived,which was a nice unexpected touch. Breakfast was very good,with an international selection as well as a few local dishes. 2 days later and we checked out, we took a Taxi to the cruise terminal at about 1pm. We dropped off our luggage and filled out the health questionaire and were informed that boarding would begin at about 3pm but our cabin would not be available until 8pm. A small selection of sandwiches and juice was made available while we waited. At 3pm embarkation started and there was only a few people. The gangway was very steep and there was no way that i could walk it and so a security/immigration officer came down to take my passport and photo and i was escorted through a seperate entrance,i was made very welcome and directed to the buffet on deck 11. Our cruise card could not be collected until 8pm but we just showed our printed ticket to show we had the drink package and that enabled us to get drinks. The Costa Neo-rivierra. A small ship that was at first confusing to get around. The easiest way to navigate was to remember that the vast majority of places could be accessed by walking along deck 6 and make your way around from there. Most of the inside entertainment areas were on deck 6 with a few on deck 5 , 7 and 12. Decks 11 and 12 were the buffet and outside areas. Buffet. We did'nt use it that often, the meal we had on embarkation day here was very nice with a nice selection of dishes including curries etc, however all this changed for the crossing where the selection became a lot more suited to the Med palate. There was always a choice but IMHO you cant really make a ships buffet look appealing. At peak times there could be difficulty in finding a seat,but this is true of any ship we have been on. Breakfast in the buffet on this ship included hot as well as cold selection. There was NO free pizza on this ship but a grill serving burgers, hot dogs, fries and salad was available, i tried a couple of burgers and they were good. The only real complaint i had of this buffet area were the drink stations, they could become a bottleneck. My major problem here was that some passengers would fill thier personal water receptacles from the public stations and on many occasions i saw passengers coughing,then drink from the bottle and then fill this same bottle – small wonder that diseases soon spread. You can't blame the ship for this blatant abuse,there are big notices on the dispensers and even when i pointed the notice out to an offender,he became verbally abusive and a ships officer had to intervene. Main Restaurant Cetera and St Tropez. The Main restaurant is called the Cetera and although we didn't eat here,we had a look around and it looked very nice. Because we are Pearla diamente members,we were allocated the St Tropez restaurant which is used for suite and pearl members and is open every day for breakfast,lunch and Dinner. Most of the meals served here are also served in the Cetera restaurant with the exception of a chefs menu and we could have steak or king prawns as a no cost always available item. The menu on the whole was definate regional Italian with a few exceptions. On the whole the food ranged from good to very good,i only had to send 1 dish back because it was served cold. Lobster was available at a 15€ supplement. I had it and it was my first whole Maine lobster complete with the lobster crackers (to get in the shell)It was messy to eat but superb. Everyone, from the Maitre`D to the asst waiter were incredibly efficiant and friendly,nothing was too much trouble for them. A special thanks to the team led by Tamara. Amanda, Jin Jin (papardelle) Sylvester and Jessica, you are all stars and will be missed. Bars and Drinks. On our first week we had a pio gusto drinks package included. This gave you quite an extensive choice of both alco and non alco drinks. We are not huge alco drinkers, Donald enjoys an occasional glass of wine and i like my non alco cocktails. My fav on this line is the virgin banana colada and the pink panther. The pink panther tasted the same throughout the bars but the banana colada could change so vastly depending on who made it. It tasted so disgusting in 1 bar that i had to send it back,the second time it was better so i don't know what happened. On our 23 night crossing, no drinks were included,so we bought a 40 non alco package at 110€ and a 25 cappacino coffee pack at 85€ inc service charge. Most of the bar staff were very friendly and we never had to wait long before being served. Anjean, Deryl, Leah and Michelle quickly learned our likes and dislikes and were such good fun to be around. Our thanks to you. Entertainment. The usual daytime quizzes,games,dances etc during the day and music and dancing in the bars and lounges in the evening as well as the different theatre shows. We found the entertainment and shows to be a very good standard. The entertainment team were friendly and worked hard. We did hear some people complaining that there wasnt much to do but these were N.Americans and they freely admited that they like every minute of every day filled with organised activities. Excursions. 2 of the 5 excursions we had booked were cancelled due to lack of english speakers. They are fairly expensive but on the whole offered reasonable value for money. We did the safari on sir bani yas island. I was dissapointed not to see the giraffes but like the guide said, sightings can't be guaranteed. We did see cheetahs, gazelles,deers, ostrich eagles etc. The Dhow cruise in Muscat was very relaxing,to be fair theres not an awful lot to see other than the rugged coastline. The ancient etruscan civilization from civatavecia. Nice to look around and learn about these people. Supposed to have a typical etruscan meal included but don`t be fooled, meal was nice but i doubt the etruscans ate chicken, sausage chips and salad. Front desk/customer service Front of house staff, we feel often have the most difficult job aboard. They have to deal with passenger complaints and queries and Costa ships have a very large mix of different nationalities on board,this can result in quite a culture shock,especialy amongst the english speakers. Some of the complaints we heard were quite ridiculous and could have been avoided had the passenger done just the simplest of research or used a modicum of common sense. Why for instance would you complain because the tea used on board is not your favourite brand, why argue that you wont pay the compulsory service charge, saying the service you received is not to your satisfaction and you've only just got on board. Why should they refund your internet account after 3 days usage because you have now decided that this package wasn't for you. I heard all of this and more. The answers given were clear and dealt with in a precise and friendly way. Whenever we walked by we were always greeted by name and asked how we were with a smile. Fellow Passengers. Lots of different nationalities on board, Italians, Dutch, French, German, Swiss, English, Russian, Spanish, Australians and Americans etc. We only encountered a handful of rude passengers. For the first time ever on a Costa cruise we easily interacted with a group of Italian people. This may have been because several spanish words are similar and we have now gained more confidence speaking Spanish. We had such a good time with this group especially in the restaurant. We also met a delightful couple from Oz, Malcolm and Beverly, Thanks for your company and also to Yvonne and Hubby,we'll be in touch soon. The ship and disembarkation. The Neo riviera was kept spotlessly clean and was just a nice size for me to move about with my mobility problems. There are a few areas where i had to be extra careful, sometimes moving from a carpeted area to a piece of flooring caused me to go off balance. Staff were very accomadating at the fire drill and whenever i went ashore, and assistance was always given to me when needed, i never had to ask for this, it was all done with a smile. We arrived back at Genova Italy at 8am and were told we could stay on board until 5 pm and have lunch if we wished. Our train to Milan wasn't until 2pm so we stayed on board and had a bit of lunch and then disembarked. Because of our Perla diamente status, luggage was collected the night before and would be shipped home to us in Spain, so we only had an overnight bag to carry. I was once again assisted down the gangway and the chap took my bag and carried it to the exit,where we were shown the way to the train station, an easy 10 minute walk away. Both Donald and myself were very sorry to leave and we both agreed that this ship has now become the favourite in the fleet so far. We have now arrived home and have booked to go back on her in 2019. Thank you to everyone on board the wonderful Costa Neo-riviera, we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Firstly, my first time flying with Emirates, but guaranteed it won’t be my last. I got a requested upgrade to fly out Business Class at what looked to be a heavily discounted price. What an experience- it’s the first time I’ve ever ... Read More
Firstly, my first time flying with Emirates, but guaranteed it won’t be my last. I got a requested upgrade to fly out Business Class at what looked to be a heavily discounted price. What an experience- it’s the first time I’ve ever been on a plane, had a holiday and could not wait to do the return flight! The added bonus was that Business Class also entitled me to a free chauffeur driven car from my home 70 miles away to Gatwick and back, as well as return Chauffeur transfers both ways in Dubai. Add that into the amount of lovely free champagne and booze I quaffed and it started to look like a bargain! Virgin and ESPECIALLY BA need to look to their laurels regarding this competitor- I recently flew longhaul with BA Premier Economy and it was awful… From what I can ascertain, Emirates Business Class is easily equivalent to BA and Virgin First Class. Anyway having arrived in Dubai a couple of days early, I spent some time just getting used to the warmth of the sun on the creaking bones again- wonderful- I’d not considered the Emirates as a winter destination before but at between 6.5 and 7.5 hours direct flight it’s nearer than the Caribbean, and from what I have experienced of both, the weather seems more dependable.. They laughed at me in Dubai when I mentioned snow, saying they only get about 4 days rain a year! Anyway, onto the cruise… there is not much about the destinations because I picked up bronchitis the day I left home, so this ended up being a very laid back chill holiday..because I KNOW I’m going back! Another rather wonderful thing- I had booked a balcony but found just before going that Costa had upgraded me to a mini-suite- as a solo traveller I don’t tend to get such nice upgrades, so well done Costa! Day 1 & 2 First impressions- strangely wonderful embarkation process- walk up to the deserted check in desk, they put a room number sticker on your passport,and fill in the health questionnaire- you walk through to the ship, they take questionnaire and your passport which you don't see again until the end of the cruise ( I think! If anyone spots a dodgy looking Deco wandering around Dubai, you'll know it's not me!), and you go to your cabin where your cabin key awaits. Painless.And no queues. I did spend the first few days chuckling at what I thought was the Captain’s name - "Cordiali Saluti" , until it was pointed out to me that his welcome signed off with that greeting, followed by the words “Cordiali Saluti”! Doh! The cabin is great and spacious- can't fault it at all. Nice touch that every door had a Christmas tree decoration.Slept perfectly when I eventually got to bed. The room has a coffee pod machine which is nice, if I can work it out- you only get 2 free pods however, so I shall be selective when I use them.. I live life to the edge eh?! Nice that the cabin had a bath as well as a shower, and more storage space than I’ve ever seen in a cabin before! It's very eerie getting on Costa ships because people embark quite leisurely..our embarkation time was from between 3.30pm and 07.30am the following morning- no queues to embark or disembark. But it does the impression of a ghost ship at times! Last night I unpacked and headed to the bar, to test out the all inclusive drinks package, which at 19€ a day still works out at the best drinks package at sea, incorporating coffees, teas, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. It seems impossible to walk more than about 20 feet without finding a bar with music playing, which is nice.Last night they must have felt they were playing to the guests of the Marie Celeste! I'm sure tonight will be busier as we are at sea through the night. I've just been down to the a la carte restaurant for breakfast expecting it to be heaving with people.. There were maybe 15 guests, and approximately 25 waiting staff! Needless to say, no sooner was I seated than this procession of people appeared- the bread man, the croissant and pastry lady, the assorted juices lady, the cereals man, the coffee man, the man who took my breakfast order.. If it carries on like this, I'll be dead impressed! I'm more used to avoiding the buffet breakfast scrums on most ships! As most of you know, I tend to be a 2 meal ( breakfast and dinner) person onboard, so I settled for a very beautifully cooked cheese and herb omelette which should see me through to dinner. This ship has done away with early and late sittings so at meal times, the choices are buffet- which I had last night, ( tasty and fresh salady stuff mostly) , a Pizzeria with a small additional charge ,or open seating in the main restaurant . Looking at the restaurant this morning, it seems mostly set up with smaller tables, but I did like the fact that in the daily programme, there is an option to meet others who don't wish to dine alone ,at 6.30 each night. Having said that,knowing my luck, I'd get paired up with Fred Munster and Nigel Farage.. So maybe for tonight at least, I'll dine with my trusty Kindle for company! Currently it's 9.30am here and I'm waiting for the lifeboat drill to occur in about 10 minutes, before we depart Dubai for Bahrain at 10.30. Just heard the first of the obligatory 5 language cabin announcements, but as it's for the safety drill, I guess they can't afford to miss anyone out! Well that was fun- I've never been on a ship where we had to line up in groups before- "and move to the left, move to the right".. I was expecting to be asked to do-si-do! I'd lost the will to live by the time we'd reached the 5th translation! However, it's done now. After this, only the essential announcements are relayed to cabins in all 5 main languages. Ok- 20 minutes later and I'm out by the pool- it's deserted!!! Hurrah! Unless they all know something I don't.. Bye bye Dubai, bring on Bahrain... I was sitting right by the ship's hooter when it went off!!! Jump?!!!! How high?!!!!!! Now to chillax.... Later that day… A nice day in the sun- the ear that wasn't affected by my headcold has now been wind blasted within an inch of its hearing life- being ever the resourceful Brit, I resorted to wrapping my caribbean kaftan thing round my head to protect what's left of my hearing- I actually really don't CARE what it looked like! It worked. Deck entertainment that I saw ( there was more but I only write what I see) was a deck side morning disco masquerading as an aerobics class-Gangnam Style was never Jane Fonda(!) and later they dragged a few holiday makers up, presented them with about 15 ingredients and challenged them to come up with the most innovative cocktail.. Lolol! Class or what?!!! Funny to watch the reaction of the tasters. Got slightly distracted on way back to cabin by a coffee / tea bar offering 16 different teas ( yawn!) but a variety of coffees including Marzipan infused! Well, that was lunch sorted, together with my lemsip/ whisky hot toddy.. Decided to a la carte the dinner tonight - no problem getting a table although I think allocating me table 111 for 1 was rubbing it in a bit! 5 courses on offer- went for just 3- roast beef with artichoke, italian cheese and finally, "diplomatic cake"... I was really hoping that was a dessert telling me to embrace my curves and eat more.. Sadly this turned out not to be the case, but as a non pud eater it was luvverly!! Cream and some sort of pastry thing with a nod to health by the addition of a strawberry. On to the show "Made in Italy" prefaced by an introduction to the international hostesses- German, French,Spanish, and finally Hannah,the english hostess who spectacularly announced that she is the language interpreter for every other language than French, Italian Spanish and German- good luck with that luv! Still for my Costa doubting cruise friends, I think it's a really good facility to have. Showtime was great- a mixture of all things italian from opera to dance to pop- including a v innovative Formula One dance to The Race.. I'd forgotten the joys of "applauso applauso " on Costa ships- it just makes me smile. Sitting in one of the many lounges now, awaiting the "70s explosion"... Should be fun! Bahrain tomorrow and I'm afraid I've opted ( on most of this cruise) for beach resort days- hey ho. Day (non existent 3) & 4.. Oh well, after a fairly uneventful day 3 to due to this stupid cold, it looks like I shall be on board Xmas Day and Boxing Day- finally succumbed to the Doc today and he advised not to do my planned trips for next two days-bronchitis. Ho hum. At least he didn't confine me to cabin!!! Well at least I shall get to see Costa Christmas in all its glory- and let's face it, if you are going to be ill, you may as well be ill in the sun!! Not too impressed with his nurse that jumped back about 8 feet when I coughed!!!!! Although as backwards long jumps go, it was probably very proficient! So, yesterday - as said earlier, a peg out day by the pool which was fine. The show was an entertaining comedy acrobat team who did some amazing human "slinky" thing, which thankfully did NOT involve them tumbling down the stairs- which was the only thing I could do with my slinky! Back to the room last night to find this big box of panettone waiting- that and the prosecco will be coming home with me, otherwise I might explode before xmas day! We arrive in Abu Dhabi at 13.30 today and depart tomorrow at about 16.30, so I guess there will be a mass exodus this afternoon.Some are doing an overnight desert trip involving tents camels and bedouins. I don't think I was made for camels.. And I'm fairly sure they aren't made for me- girl has to know her limitations! My plan ( in the absence of shore trips!) is to enjoy the day in the sun- temperature is a lovely 25 degrees, and then tackle the Christmas Eve Dinner- I am interested to see what we receive- then the Hip Hop Burlesque Show ( there's a juxtaposition!) followed by the Midnight Mass if I'm still awake. I did this last year and it was lovely - mostly the Filipino staff and a few of us Roman Candles- it's about the only time of year I go to church and I must admit I do enjoy it. Signing off for now- I hope everyone has a happy and peaceful day- I may update later on Day 5. Costa NeoRiviera Firstly- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Thoughts for the day: 1) The hygiene and elf n safety standards on this ship are impeccable. I was watching today in the outdoor buffet area- if someone so much as drops a chip, someone is there to pick it up. The floors are constantly being mopped and all the buffet food has individual pick up tongs to reduce contamination 2) Sea water pools puts women like me at a severe disadvantage as regards swimming with any type of dignity.. No sooner am I in there then let's say my natural buoyancy takes over and the Mae Wests float to the top.. So you either go with that and float on your back looking like two atolls adrift at sea, or you fight it and people assume you are drowning... Just cold water showers poolside then for me.. 3) The quality and freshness of the food I've encountered on here surpasses anything I have had on the "posher" lines.. I did wonder if Costa Serena was unique in this, but no, seemingly not. 4)The entertainment has been fine for coping with so many nationalities- if I want a West End Show I'll go to London. But for what you get, the professionalism of the dancers and singers is top notch, the humour is by necessity " in yer face"( which I'm fine with!) and it is wonderful to sit in a theatre that is never more than 70% full with massive legroom and little tables for your drink(s)! 5) This has rekindled my love of smaller ships- it has about 1600 passengers and 900 rooms.. You can walk end to end in about 5 minutes flat. You don't need to queue for lifts, and despite the rumours about "foreigners" not queuing, I have not seen even one instance of anyone pushing in.The rumours of Costa ships being smoke filled dens appears to be unfounded too! 6) The beds are "awesome" on here and I have slept like a log! Aside from the fantastic unexpected free upgrade to a mini suite, the cabins are well fitted out, clean and well maintained. I have never had a cabin with so much storage space! I found another cupboard yesterday when I pressed the hairdryer button my mirror- only for the whole mirror to swing open to produce a further huge cupboard housing a safe ( I had wondered where that was!) as well as says hairdryer! I have not forgotten my P&O balcony complete with blue plastic webbing, rusty rails and paint flecks all over it! That was the same cabin where the handle came off in my hand if you recall! 7) Their inclusive drinks package is the best at sea, and means that since I've been on here, aside from a bottle of Cloudy Bay which I treated myself to for yesterday and today , and a packet of crisps ( because I could!) I have no other onboard spend at all. 8)I wasn't a fan of freedom dining, preferring to inflict myself on others at dinner, but actually it's been ok. I think it's led to me meeting less people than normal, but I also believe the vast array of nationalities by definition makes that harder. I've enjoyed the freedom to eat when I choose as opposed to when it's prescribed and as long as I have my Kindle, I've been a happy Billy No Mates in the corner! 9)Here's the thing... For all of the above plus more, I am starting to think that Costa may be my favourite cruise line.. I still have a lot to try out, but for value for money , I find them hard to beat. I'm interested in other opinions from fellow cruisers , and for non cruising friends, I'll shut up now!!!!! Today is a people watching day- it is the first time that I've seen the decks fairly full- this is a definite advantage of having almost every day as a port day- people clear off to explore! Having said, as I say, today ( at least for the next couple of hours) the world and his wife are here.. Yes there are plenty of children but they are "contained" reasonably within a) a children's pool on deck 12 with slides and stuff and b) in one of the two adult only pools.. Well, it's Christmas eh? And they are all being well behaved if a little noisy... The assorted deck walkers are funny to watch- there are the Sophia Loren and George Clooney beautiful people, the Middle aged stomach suckers-in squeezed into budgie smuggler speedos , the self conscious but willowy latinesque teenage beauties,giggling in little gaggles,and eying up the sullen moody boys, the sock wearing white hat & sandal brigade desperately seeking shade ( I wonder where they can be from?!), the dedicated yompers marching determinedly around the deck in anticipation of the Christmas dinner to come, eyes front and no deviation , the weary mothers who just look relieved that the sun is out and their children have playmates of all nationalities to play with, the teenage lads who really DO seem lost on here, and tend to sit quietly in corners scowling gently,pretending they can't see the giggly girls, the long suffering bar staff with their enforced uniform of Xmas hats which they wear with aplomb and a smile, dads pretending to read their papers and discreetly watching the girls go by without attracting the attention of their wives, who are watching them like hawks regardless anyhow..All the world is here.. I hear French, English, German, Arabic,Spanish, Italian as a gentle cacaphony of voices melding with the Christmas deck music.. It's strangely soothing.. I'm not a crowd lover, but even within all of this, it seems calm and peaceful... They say no man is an island.. I feel a little like one here, but surrounded by other islands, so it could be worse. Language is not hugely a barrier- smiles are universal and people are friendly enough. I'm not sure if I miss the big group table at dinner or not- I've met some interesting people by dining that way in the past, but actually , a table for one has been ok on this cruise.. Sad but true. I have my reindeer deely boppers ready to go tonight; bring it on! Day 6&7 Day 6 passed in a blur of sun sleep and .. Well that's it really! Oh except for the fact that I decided against my better nature to try italian Bingo.. Oh that's fun.. You push holes in the paper as opposed to using your dobber.. And you'd think , THINK, that with repeating each number in 5 languages, you'd have time to read a book Inbetween... Oh no sirree!!!! It was bloody hard to keep up and when I actually WON ( yes WON!!) I was so surprised and so slow that I nearly missed it! As it was, I had to go up front to "applauso applauso" in bare feet because I'd taken my shoes off... You could hear the tuts from the Jimmy Choo and Loboutin brigade.. I don't care- my tootsies looked lovely courtesy of my friend Angela at Image Salon so who cares?! Probably just jealous of my winning! The show "Myths & Legends" wasn't probably going to be my thing so I pottered off to see the Arabian Night floor show. Highly entertaining if very basic humour, culminating in the crowning of Mr NeoRiviera... I rather like this sort of simple humour- you look around the room and everyone is laughing- similar to the first time I watched Penguin Racing on Fred Olsen.. There's not a lot more designed to make me cry laughing than grown men strapped to 6 foot tall MDF penguins whilst assorted punters throw the huge dice to get their penguin over the finish line.. Call me childish but I LIKE that sort of thing! So, back to Mr Costa NeoRiviera.. Round one, basically a " You can take your hat off " routine to whittle from 20 down to 3.. Well a blind man could have worked out all 3.. There's been a fantastic Egyptian man who throws himself into everything, ( he really can dance like an Egyptian!), there was the obligatory italian stallion who just KNEW he was, ( not that I'm complaining!) and then this little tubby long haired grandad who was just hysterical to watch.. Ok.. So I guess before round two, you can already guess the winner? The game was to drag 3 (un ) willing women from the audience to act as Jane, to each man's Tarzan.. There was ONE extremely happy Jane there.. Then Tarzan had to beat up the cannibal with his fred flintstone cosh (applauso applauso) and swing through the jungle to rescue his jane.. Ok.. Silly but.. Egyptian man had either never heard of Tarzan or he'd been really badly dubbed in Egypt , as his cry came out like a cat with his bits caught in a mangle ( bye bye!), the Italian Stallion was so busy looking beautiful he forgot to act.. So step forward Mr Costa NeoRiviera- who threw himself into the part with what can only be described as gusto, and he looked totally in shock when he won .. Even though the animateurs had hoisted his Jane up between them and deposited her in his arms! Bloody funny- you had to be there to appreciate it! Last night,there was ( boring but worth mentioning for potential Costa cruisers) an offer to wash and iron up to 25 items for a total cost of €20.. Normally this is €11 an item and so REALLY not of interest.. But €20 to get 9 dresses and 2 tops returned ready to pack? Oh yes! Returned to my cabin at 6pm tonight and straight in the case.. Thankyou Costa! Dinner was tasty and I leave the ship at 9.30 tomorrow- interestingly at the disembarkation talk, you can keep your cabin on here until 3pm at no extra charge and even then you can continue to use the ship's facilities inc the restaurants until whatever time you are due to disembark. To sum up, this is my second Costa cruise, and no they're not the poshest but I do seriously believe they are fun.. Life is what you make it.. Holidays are what you choose to make them.. I didn't see any of the Emirates because of this bronchitis, but I had a totally relaxing chilled holiday in the most beautiful weather.. The cabin was the best designed and most spacious of any ship I've been on, and the staff can't do enough to help. And I KNOW I will be back here. With Costa too. For non cruising friends, I hope this hasn't bored you too much.. For cruise lovers friends, I hope you find this a useful honest review. Ciao!!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We booked an inside guarantee cabin at short notice for this 7 night Middle East cruise and were pleasantly surprised to have been given an outside cabin on Deck 8, as were are friends also travelling on this cruise. Since we were driving ... Read More
We booked an inside guarantee cabin at short notice for this 7 night Middle East cruise and were pleasantly surprised to have been given an outside cabin on Deck 8, as were are friends also travelling on this cruise. Since we were driving up from Muscat, we decided to park at the cruise terminal inside Port Rashid which wasn’t an issue, although we did need to provide a copy of our passports and vehicle registration to the port security office in the terminal. We were informed we could board from 3pm and the cabin would be available from 8pm and arrived at 8pm to a very quiet terminal. The staff checked out the passports, particularly interested in my wife’s who is only eligible for a UAE “visa on arrival” based on the status of our GCC residency and advised that we would need to pay 115 dhs prior to arriving in Abu Dhabi for the re-entry visa. The ship has only recently been handed over from Iberocruises and despite being a 14 year old ship appears to have had some good refits, and the rebranding to Costa seems to have been done to a high standard. The ship was of a better standard then I expected, although a little plain (lacked any of the glitz or art that I’d experienced on larger cruise ships). The cabins were ok, with two fold down beds for our children and everything was setup perfectly for our arrival, and before the boat drill the children were provided with wrist tags and child lifejackets. The only real annoyance is that the two single beds wouldn't join together properly so always came apart in the night.. Service and food onboard was great, with 7 different bars, a coffee ship, the buffet restaurant, a grill station, a pasta station, a pizza station (pizza available at lunch by the slice or from 7-11pm in the evening) and the main dining rooms. Dining was open seating, which worked well with this cruise. The buffet did get busy at times, and whilst this was ok on this cruise whilst the ship was around half occupancy, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if it was full. The dining room food was excellent and the service superb. The staff entertained our children at the dinner table with magic tricks and napkin animals. Entertainment was generally good, lots of bands playing all evening with different types of music in the various bars, and the stage shows were mixed varying from very good to average. The kids club is quite small, but the staff were superb and kept the children occupied. The kids club only operated 9-12, 15-18, 21-23:30 and wasn’t as active as on the bigger ships, but still had enough activities to keep the kids going. There is also a reasonable sized play park on Deck 12 and a slide into the childrens pool. In addition to the childrens pool are two pools and two Jacuzzis on Deck 11. Whilst the ship is quieter then the larger ones, it definitely had enough going on to keep us (29 years old with young kids) entertained. With this particularly cruise they had a short cruise midway with passengers embarking in Dubai and disembarking in Abu Dhabi. This encouraged a lot of Indian and GCC nationals on board who had slightly different etiquette and this caused a little fuss (entering the pools fully clothed or wearing boxer shorts instead of swim shorts, walking onto the stage to take photos with the acts mid performance, leaving food everywhere, children causing fights in the pools and ignoring rules and staff etc). The staff found these guests quite difficult as culturally their attitudes were very different to the normal guests onboard. During the first show which involved the cast wearing leather two piece bikini, many of the local guests walked out quite offended. Muscat is a beautiful city, but the tours and taxis were mostly a rip off despite having some of the greatest places to visit on the whole Middle East itinerary (Grand Mosque, Palace, Corniche, Souk, Museums). Abu Dhabi and Dubai both offered free shuttle buses. Overall, despite the neoRiviera being quite new to Costa I’d say she is a good ship and despite being small will fit into the mix. A few off topic comments are that as a seafarer I noticed quite a few minor safety deficiencies which surprised me considering Costas recent history, I would have thought that they’d have aimed for 100% standards. I did mention a few items to the captain when I noticed him doing his rounds, but he clearly wasn’t interested. Safety to the Italians isn’t quite as serious as it is to us Northern Europeans or North Americans.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Costa neoRiviera Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.0
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.5
Family 3.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 3.0 2.7
Enrichment 2.0 2.6
Service 3.0 3.7
Value For Money 3.0 3.2
Rates 4.0 N/A

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