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9 Costa neoRiviera Cruise Reviews

Last year we cruised the Mediterranean on the MSC Opera- this time we chose the Costa neoRiviera. The ships are similar, although the MSC Opera was lengthened a few years ago. The Costa neoRiviera is leaving the fleet in November and ... Read More
Last year we cruised the Mediterranean on the MSC Opera- this time we chose the Costa neoRiviera. The ships are similar, although the MSC Opera was lengthened a few years ago. The Costa neoRiviera is leaving the fleet in November and will be transferred to their German division, AIDA Cruises, so this review won’t be relevant for much longer. The good points: it was a very affordable cruise in peak season for 11 nights. One of our party was travelling as a single passenger and Costa’s policy (in certain markets) is to only levy a 30% surcharge- this is another reason we chose this trip. Atmosphere: Costa neoRiviera is a smaller intimate ship and is easy to navigate- the only trick to remember was the middle elevators didn’t go past deck 9. The crew were fine and we encountered no constant upselling like on MSC. The only disappointments were a confusing 30 minute life boat drill and crew not always enforcing the pool age restrictions, although considering this voyage was mid August this was often an impossible task. Most of the passengers were Italian, the remainder French, German or Spanish. There were perhaps 20 native English speakers on board so if you were looking to expand your Anglo social circle, this wasn’t the ship for you- English speaking guests are targeted by sister company HAL. Since Costa and MSC are mass market cruise lines, the demographics of your fellow passengers come from a wide social spectrum; therefore, standard Anglo behavioural norms/etiquette are often lacking. Being in the minority, the only solution is to modify your own behaviour: “when in Rome…” Dining/Food: Hurray! After last year’s MSC disgusting culinary experience (straight from the microwave to your plate) and rude Maitre D’ attitude, it was great being on a ship where you could actually eat well and alter dining arrangements without any fuss. Except for one night featuring a brand new celebrity chef menu (resulting in many half consumed meals) which the dining staff observed, the quality and portions were very good in the main dining room and buffets. Cleanliness: The ship was clean (not MSC obsessive compulsive clean) and satisfactory although some open deck areas on level 12 required attention. As the ship is being refurbished soon, perhaps it was decided to wait until then to perform the necessary work. Having said that, there were sufficient deck chairs on board (an MSC Opera problem) and the ship never felt crowded. Entertainment: This is the only area that needs improvement compared to MSC which was exceptional. While the special guest acts were quite entertaining, if the night involved the neoRiviera singers the performances were too repetitive- I think we saw the same prancing/dancing moves a number of times- just in different costumes. There is also a design flaw in the Ravello theatre- rows are tiered, but there are two rows in every tier so the second row can’t see over the first so you need to arrive early to get a seat with a view. Overall verdict: yes we would cruise with Costa again. Our expectations were met and the overall experience far surpassed MSC. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I don't think a lot of people with positive feedback do the reviews, you only see the negative ones. We where a group of 8 people ages 35 to 47 from South Africa (yes we where the noisy bunch), Booked from Istanbul to Venice. ... Read More
I don't think a lot of people with positive feedback do the reviews, you only see the negative ones. We where a group of 8 people ages 35 to 47 from South Africa (yes we where the noisy bunch), Booked from Istanbul to Venice. Costa change itinerary from Istanbul to Venice, they booked our plane tickets and transferred us on there cost and gave each of us a $150 credit towards our on board purchased. Do opt for the drinks package because a beer or 2 , glass of wine and a coffee wil be more than the drinks package cost per day. The food in the buffet was good and the we had most our meals there. The couple of times we did the formal restaurant, it was good, just remember to feed 700+ people in the first sitting does take time so opt for the later sitting, but then you miss out on the entertainment. Most guest where Europeans so language was sometimes a problem but we always managed to find out what we needed to know. TV in English only on news channel, but you are not there to stay in you cabin, go for i swim or explore the places you visit, entertainment on board was more than enough. Bar staff was friendly and helpful. Swimming pools where cleaned every night. Cabins where clean and although not very big, more than adequate. Staff was friendly and very helpful. Excursions organized by Costa are expensive, but if you are capable use local transport at fraction of the cost. for eg in Dubrovnic a cab for 8 to old city cost 15 Euro there and another 15 Euro back, but from Costa it wlll cost 11 Euro per person. Food and wine bought on places you visit does get taken away, but they deliver it to your cabin the night before departure. Negatives: Europeans are rude and will push you out of the way in the food lines, but then again, you are on holiday, have that extra glass of wine or 2 and wait for the rush to be over. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose the Costa neoRiviera purely because of the itinerary - we wanted to start in Istanbul. The departure was changed to Athens but we had been there before so it was a disappointment, although understandable in the circumstances. What ... Read More
We chose the Costa neoRiviera purely because of the itinerary - we wanted to start in Istanbul. The departure was changed to Athens but we had been there before so it was a disappointment, although understandable in the circumstances. What wasn't so understandable was why we were still flown to Istanbul for a 4 hour wait for transfer to Athens, leaving us arriving at the ship at 12.30 on 26th unable to eat or drink because all facilities were closed for the night. Customer service staff weren't all that helpful and to be fair a cold snack was later sent to our rooms. Despite having been to Athens already, we really enjoyed seeing it again. Exiting the port we were offered a 15 euro transfer for 3 to the Acropolis which on discussion with the driver became a 50 euro day tour of Athens with return direct to the ship which we found to be great value. The weather certainly plays its part in influencing your memories of the Greek islands and we were not disappointed. Mykonos was our next stop, really no need for any excursions, the town is lovely in itself, and a water bus takes you there for 2 euro, no need to buy expensive transfers. We headed for Delos on a guided tour and it was better than we expected, a mini Pompei. Santorini was reached by tender, but our Costa excursion was really a glorified bus trip to two villages, which, while worth visiting, were swamped by the occupants of two cruise liners, and the guide on our bus added little value to the day. However the island is beautiful and if you can force yourself to put the crowds to one side it was a great day out. We are, after all, part of the crowds ourselves! Our bus trip did include the cost of returning to the tender boats by cable car. Argostoli on Keffalonia was less impressive, nice to see but not worth going out of your way to do so. We had a private excursion, not a Costa one, and it was just ok. Quick tour of the area and a wine tasting, but nothing exciting. Anyone visiting this island could have as good a time just walking into the town which looked nice. Other guests were not impressed with the Costa tours they went on. Dubrovnik was spectacular. Heading to the cable car we again hit on a taxi driver who took 4 of us up to the cable car viewpoint but stopped on the way at a few other vantage points to allow photos. it was cheaper than 4 cable car tickets and we had better views. We then walked the walls, as everyone does, and it was impressive. Again, the weather did us many favours and on a wet day I'm not sure the same impression would have been made. Rain did greet our arrival in Venice for the end of the trip but it dried up as we docked and we walked from Piazzale Roma to San Marco and enjoyed it immensely despite it being our 4th visit. Venice always pleases. So all in all it was a great experience. However Costa could do some little things to enhance the experience. The buffet breakfast was a chaotic free for all. Staff and tour guides put this down to the arrival of the first 600 Spanish guests for the season, who really don't know the meaning of manners. However from earlier reviews of this ship we had been pre warned, and really on any ship when all occupants need to exit the ship at the same time its going to be hectic no matter how you organise it. But if Costa had opened at say 7.00am instead of 7.30, and had provided more than 4 coffee machines for 1600 guests it might have been better. After half an hour two machines usually packed in so it was a road rage type atmosphere around the 2 remaining coffee machines. Otherwise the food was fine, nothing spectacular, and the restaurant evening experience was good. We were not offered our choice of sitting but were told by a tour guide that the Spanish and Italians got the 10 pm sitting and us northern europeans got the 7.30 sitting. Lucky for us as I'm not sure I'd have lasted till 10.00. Staff and stateroom were fine and the ship itself was in good nick for an old ship. It clearly caters for Italians and knowing this in advance you just get on with it. Lots of shore excursions were cancelled because of low numbers but only after we had sailed, leaving short notice to re-arrange. Obviously you couldn't go to outside companies at this point! We had one cancelled on Santorini and as outlined above I'm not sure the alternative was value for money. Excursion staff weren't exactly sympathetic, using the shoulder shrug as the international language of communication. The fellow guests were the rudest I have come across, but on the other hand we did also meet some lovely people every evening. All in all it will be a great memory for us due to the ports of call and the lovely May weather. One person travelling with us was on her first ever cruise and far from being put off, is now seeking out a second cruise for later in the year. To sum up, you probably get what you pay for, and if the itinerary is what you want this compensates for other shortfalls. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin ... Read More
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin immediately. I was surprised as before with MSC or Royal Caribbean we had to wait for a while. Cabin not big but very comfortable and well organised. So we 2 adult and kid with 3 big languages felt of. I expected all bad from Costa as I read lots of negative reviews, and choose that cruise only of ports of call. And I was surprised in good way. Very good food at 11 deck restaurant. Very good bar service there. We went few times to 5 deck resturant but i was disappointed - too many time to wait dinner some days took near 3 hours. So we stopped to go there and visited only 11 floor. Food was same but more variety, better service and smiling su- chef Edgar always recommend what is better to try. Our kid is very bad in eating - there he ate all without any problem. Yes you can not have coffee or tea at lunch or dinner, but it's not very useful in the evening and was avaliable 4- 5 p. All staff was very friendly, smiling, saying hello and bye. Ready to help. Even busy managers played with my son and you feel like big friendly family all around. Quality of drinks very good, we ordered some cocktails sometime in the evening. We're served very quickly. Thank you Jose ))) I took cappuccino ever morning at pool bar - when it opened, and it was delicious - love illy. Thank you bar staff - still remember sun raise ))) I like animation team. Every morning - gymnastic, games, tournaments. We participated in most of activities and have great fun. Shows were good. Not the best I see, but not bad. Some of them are very nice. Even my son participate in one with muppets. Till today he is reminding that and laughing. Few times we went to disco and dance. But they were just few people there, so not too funny. Very clean everywhere. I made gymnastic very early and see how pool boys clean all. Same in the cabin, and all over the ship. Good music in bars. Only dancers from Grand bar were not very friendly, like doing hard boring job (only one minuse). And main- we have late flight in the evening and they let us stay!!!! Till 11.30 p.m. and that is great. As be very hard to stay so long in airport. And lots of people departure late. So main- I was ready for average cruise according review I read. But it was amazing. Friendly staff, good service, tasty food, fun animation team, not bad shows. Good music, bars and restaurant. It was amazing cruise, with very interesting ports of call. And I will try with Costa other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
4½ stars. We went on the "Indian Ocean " cruise, calling in at 10 countries, mostly difficult-to-get-to islands, including Madagascar (3 ports) and finishing in Capetown. We were apprehensive on this cruiseline after ... Read More
4½ stars. We went on the "Indian Ocean " cruise, calling in at 10 countries, mostly difficult-to-get-to islands, including Madagascar (3 ports) and finishing in Capetown. We were apprehensive on this cruiseline after reading so many complaining reviews. We did note that many of the grumbles were of a minor nature. The ship was quite small, comfortable and homely. Staff were generally excellent, There was a multinational set of passengers, mostly Italians. The port destinations were exotic and pioneering in some cases. A phenomenal opportunity to get to see them. This was an adventure cruise. We were well pleased with the food. Lunches in particular always had a good seafood selection and fresh fruits and salads. (It was irritating to not have gratis water on the dining table. Take your own bottle in!) The captain was excellent - out-running a cyclone down the coast of Madagascar and presenting well to passengers. There were a few issues with mis-organisation - including on one occasion letting young inexperienced childcare staff run the issues of tender tickets. They treated us like infants. There was no senior member of staff there. It is a pity this cruise is not appearing on the 2015 list. I would implore Costa to run this again. i would definitely not hesitate to sail with Costa in future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Just returned from a very good cruise around the Persian Gulf aboard the Costa neoRiviera. I like the older smaller ships (previously I had sailed on the Costa Voyager and Allegra, both were fine ships, just in need of a little love and ... Read More
Just returned from a very good cruise around the Persian Gulf aboard the Costa neoRiviera. I like the older smaller ships (previously I had sailed on the Costa Voyager and Allegra, both were fine ships, just in need of a little love and attention) and this is what Costa have provided for the Riviera. A subtle makeover (in contrast to the larger, newer Costa fleet) this for me really hits the mark. The lounge and dining areas are tasteful and slightly understated, the staff are friendly and well trained, the shows are good, the ship feels just about right. The food, and service in particular was of a standard I had not previously experienced on a Costa ship (clearly 4 star), and whilst the ship was only at 60% capacity, the free dining seemed to be working well. The bedrooms are small (3 star), as with ships of this age, 30% of passengers were English speaking, and I enjoyed the overnight stay concept. With the long flights the cruise doesn't give much time for a rest. The best port of call was Kasab in Oman (think dhows, dolphins, fjords and a fort), though this was not on the original itiniery, and that was a lovely relaxing day. Well done Costa, and I look forward to trying out the neo experience of the Romantica and Classica. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
After touring Genoa, we took our pre-booked Costa shuttle bus outside the Genoa main train station on Sept. 1, 13:00 to Savona pier. With only 1,100+ passengers this time, the transfer & check-in process ran well. We entered our cabin ... Read More
After touring Genoa, we took our pre-booked Costa shuttle bus outside the Genoa main train station on Sept. 1, 13:00 to Savona pier. With only 1,100+ passengers this time, the transfer & check-in process ran well. We entered our cabin at 16:30. We were on the premium outside cabin. It has no space for a small table but enough to get by. Our 2 twin-sized mattresses can't seems to pull together tight for sleeping. And no thick bed/mattress sheet available to cover the center gap there. 27" flat TV shows no "account" menu & the "wake-up" function isn't ready. It offers 3 English channels though. Storage space is enough for us but the washroom counter is small. It has hair dryer & coffee machine. For coffee/tea, the first 2 are free & charges €1,50 per cup after that. Our free room meal service has continental breakfast menu (finishes at 10:00am) & the regular meal menu has very limited salad/sandwich/drink selection. Our room steward cleaned/stock-up well our cabin twice daily. Room temperature, lighting, decor, noise level, shover space, hot water are OK. Its alternative restaurant "St. Tropez" only opened twice for its €15 brunch offers in this sailing. For full service dining, we all were placed to the larger "Cetara". Premium class passengers got no reservation privilege to this sailing though. When the line-up is long, the host puts down our details/request & give us a beeper so we could wait (10 min. the most) at the live music lounge right outside. Table service is smooth & the staffs are well trained. Walking space is tight there. Often the passengers & staffs fight for the work station walkways. Night dining menu (changed daily) has 4 starters, 2 prime, 3 main, 1 cheese plate & 4 dessert courses to offer. And our server even occasionally brought us the "non-menu" dishes on request. Our Classic wine package has 3 whites, 3 reds (all above average 2013/Italian ones), 7 waters for €99 including service charge after the Club discount. Good value for us. With open seating likes this, Two of us normally sat down around 7:45 & enjoyed the meal/drink until ready for the 10:00pm show. We like it. The lunch buffet upstair has more varieties & hot foods keep re-filling the two food stations constantly. Silverwares are racked on each dining table to ease our run-round. Also, free pizza station & grilled station in the open deck are opened daily (limited time). Afternoon tea are served daily too. Shows (from Costa singer/dance to one-time guest) were well presented (both sound, light & stage setup) in general at the very odd seating. Each row has two sets of seats, the movable chairs in front (better viewing) & the fixed sofa (more comfortable) behind it, with a small fixed round table in between. Quite a bit of time wasted on settling down for show. It has 3 dance lounges with live music. One venue was non-stop in evenings between 2 excellent groups, offering very good dance arrangement. We were so busy at the ports & didn't get to the other venues much but it seems the passengers enjoyed them. Front desk service is well trained but the tour service is questionable. Firstly, all the tour offers (mostly Italian language ones) start around 9:00am (even the half-day tours) when the majority of our port stays were until very late to the evening. Secondly, the staffs there tried not to provide any port related details in words or print to us. Ends up we explored all the ports ourselves with ease. Our only Costa "tour" booking is the €6,95 Salerno city centre transfer (besides the above Genoa to pier & pier to Nice transfers). It wasn't like this at our Costa's Baltic & Middle-East sailings then. When things is not offered from the Costa normal practice, the answer is often "This the the neo-class"...... Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Currently on the Costa Neo Riveria so thought I would add a review for those planning to book a cruise on the Neo Riveria as decent information about this ship is hard to find. Embarkation was very easy and friendly. The classic cabin ... Read More
Currently on the Costa Neo Riveria so thought I would add a review for those planning to book a cruise on the Neo Riveria as decent information about this ship is hard to find. Embarkation was very easy and friendly. The classic cabin (window only) is compact! The shower too. And it has a plastic curtain. i think I read an earlier review saying shampoo is not provided - it is. The television has no inputs so you cannot attach your tablets etc to watch your own programs. The premium cabin does have a full-size tv and a bath. Food is of good quality. lots of fresh salad and fruit. and a choice of 3 main courses each evening in the a la carte restaurant. There are 5 courses so no need to go hungry. Seating is unreserved which is a new feature available on the neo ships. The drinks package: there is only one choice and that is €28.75 pp/day. This does not include premium brands so the gin is Beefeater or Gilbeys so excludes Grey Goose. There is usually a discussion each day at the smoothie bar as to whether all the smoothies are included in the extra package so this appears a bit disorganised. there is no separate wine package. Evening entertainment is a bit lacklustre and together with the price of drinks means the bars and venues are quiet in the evenings. Before sailing I rang the Costa "customer care" line and one of the questions I asked was if the sauna was free on this ship. They said it was. However it is €15 per visit! I asked guest services about this. They told me this is only applicable on their neo ships. This is the same for the new drinks package. So, it seems the new concept is to charge as much as possible! From speaking with other guests who have been on other Costa cruises it appears that the cabins are smaller on the Neo Riveria compared to their other ships. Maybe this is also part of the new concept.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have just returned from the Dubai to Capetown cruise on Costa neoRiviera. On the plus side, the itinerary was wonderful. We visited some incredible places. The beds were the most comfortable we have had on a cruise ship, the staff were ... Read More
We have just returned from the Dubai to Capetown cruise on Costa neoRiviera. On the plus side, the itinerary was wonderful. We visited some incredible places. The beds were the most comfortable we have had on a cruise ship, the staff were always smiling, polite and helpful. The ship although basic was clean. There were plenty of towels and lotions including after sun which was welcome. When we booked the holiday with Iglu we were under the impression that gratuities were compulsory but flexible. In actual fact there are no gratuities only a compulsory service charge of €8 pp/day, the first half of which was taken from our bank account half way through the cruise. On the Costa web site a 5% discount was available for tour reservations before 31 January. Because I have walking difficulties we decided to reserve the easy trips, as we thought they would be the popular ones and spent €1,500. Had we known that the ship would be less than half full, we wouldn’t have bothered. When we arrived on the ship the tours were the same price as we paid. When we enquired at the Tour Desk we were told that this package was not available on neo Riviera!! As we had to put the code for the ship, our booking number and name when reserving these tours we feel we were mis-sold these trips. When we asked to see the Tour Manager she suggested we put in a Formal Remark Form which would be stamped and sent to the Head Office in Genoa. We would get a reply very quickly – certainly before the end of the cruise. To date we have not even had an acknowledgement, so we will be pursuing this. We have been on many cruises and have never known the self service restaurant to close during the day. There was nowhere to get water tea or coffee while the restaurant was closed unless you bought them at the bar or had the drinks package which although advertised on the internet before the cruise at €19 increased to €28 once on ship. The restaurant closed for the day at 21.30 which meant that after the show in the theatre there was nowhere to go for refreshment before bed. We only used the Cetara Restaurant once but were not impressed with the menu. The self service restaurant had lots of salad and fresh fruit, an omelette station at breakfast time and a grill bar on deck at lunch time, together with a pizzeria. These were the only really hot food. The cooked food in the self service restaurant was at best passable and was only warm and very rarely were there any hot plates. Because there were multi-national guests, all announcements were made in several different languages which at times was quite tedious. There was also piped music everywhere except cabins, including the library. Even the port talks were conducted with piped music in the background. Overall the cruise was not as cheap as we were led to believe as the Service charge was over £500 for the five weeks and everything on board was very expensive – drinks, photographs etc. However the itinerary was superb. Further emails to Customer services from the UK regarding the misselling of excursions have been similarly ignored!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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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