Costa neoClassica Cruise Review by Proseknitic
- Sail Date: March 2012
- Destination: Asia
Things were a bit chaotic at the cruise terminal. That was my first clue. The Classica is the oldest ship in the Costa Inventory and it shows. The basic staff was wonderful, hardworking and extremely anxious to please. Our cabin steward was great, attentive and flexible to our weird comings and goings. The Cruise director was extremely hard working - we saw a lot of Petra and apparently reading the reviews - we saw a lot of both the restaurant manager and head waiter.
Didn't do anything for the food. If you are a vegetarian, this Costa ship is not for you. Meal choices are extremely limited and the menu rotation is short. Doing Diary on this trip - the Cheese Souffle was superb and otherwise, your choices are rice, vegetables and pasta. Salads are poorly prepared with about 100cc of water dripping off the lettuce, the breads are decent, deserts good and the soups boring. Our waiter was great - even though I have no clue why they assigned someone who spoke little German to a German speaking group. With great luck on the random assignment of dinner companions, we sat with an interesting group of people who excellent. All had sailed with Costa prior as well as other lines (mostly Aida).
Sometimes the only choice was the buffet on Deck 10. The yogurt was always frozen in the morning and twice I got containers that were obviously well past their date and were grossly spoiled. The fresh fruit was good. According to others with whom we usually had breakfast, most of the fried foods were extremely greasy (more so that usual). The coffee was undrinkable. Since the cappuccino and expresso in the lounges (for which you pay) was excellent, I don't think one can find an excuse for bad coffee in the restaurants.
I don't do photos, casinos or games so can't address those. The shows in general were worthy of small town theater - not the level of any other ship I have even been on. The acrobat/magician was fun and entertaining, choreography for the dancers was boring in the max and the singers were challenged. Since other cruise lines manage international clientele in the Med, I don't find this an excuse.
Most of the tours were over priced and less than interesting. Even on those days which were not tender to port, many of the tours required a couple of hours each way. Ok, I can live with that. We loved Malaysia and coud have easily skipped the second day in Phuket.
I mentioned the old ship didn't I? The repairman was charming, polite and we saw him often since it seemed that something was always going wrong on our deck. Circuit breakers flipping was common -so we learned to be careful on where we left things in the cabin so as to not trip in the dark. The toilet seat fell off a couple of times. Also of note to the average modern person - there was only one outlet in the cabin which usually but not always worked. You could charge your phone, or camera battery or iPod, but only one thing at a time.
The fitness center was inside the Spa and only open from 0800-2000. As someone who likes being done with her routine prior to 0700, this fell into the not fun category. Even worse, with a 20 minute limit on the machines coupled with a staff unwilling to enforce the rules on the 25% Chinese cruisers on the ship I wound up unfortunately disturbing those in the suites by jogging over their heads early in the morning.
In spite of the above complaints - I found the region fascinating. This was the only cruise covering all the places we wanted to see in the two weeks we had. Princess lines probably would have been a better choice as would have been Star Cruises.