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I have completed 30+ cruises on all the major lines over the last 15 years and have recently tried both the Pacifica and Fascinosa ships so hopefully I can provide a balanced review for members. It is clear this is a company who want to rebuild their reputation and do all they can to help you enjoy your cruise. Are they in the same league as Holland and America?-no. But neither are their prices and it maybe that you are happy to accept some of the "trade offs" in terms of expense: Cleanliness The ship was constantly being cleaned, the decks were disinfected every morning and one evening when I nipped back to the cabin the beds had been moved and the attendant was cleaning underneath them. I have never seen that on RCCL, HAL, Princess or Celebrity. We had fresh towels automatically daily and new linen every 2 days. Staff Were all friendly and attentive and one occasion, we ordered a pot of tea mid afternoon in a lounge. The assistant explained they only had alcohol in that bar but she rang and found us an attendant that came in specially to take our order and delivered it. There was a couple of evenings in the theatre were service was slow and this tended to be on the production show nights when the theatre was full. Arrive 15-20mins prior and you’ll be served. Logistics We were met at the airport but did have to wait for our transfer and then again to embark. We arrived in Marseille at 10.30, had to wait until 12.30 for the transfer ( when all flights had arrived) and then wait at the cruise centre. This was not explained very well and made us a little frustrated. Had we been told of the timings we could have gone and got a coffee at the airport or planned our journey differently. Costa flight policy is that you do not know the flight you are on until you have booked. This worked out great on the previous cruise when we embarked in Savona as the flight arrived at 10.30, 2 hour scenic transfer and we walked straight on the ship. On disembarkation, again straight to airport and then a 2pm flight back to UK. However, in Marseille we disembarked at 10am and their policy is to leave 3 hours until the flight time which meant we could not go on the 12.20pm back to Heathrow and we were placed on the 8.35pm. We made the most of the day by leaving our luggage at the airport ( 15 euro per case) and caught the transfer the train station in Marseille centre for 26 Euro return for 2. If you have the time, my advice is book your own flights even if it means going a day either side and staying in a hotel. We needed to do Sat to Saturday so we were very limited and it meant a very long day. Costa do embark/disembark at most ports so it’s not quite so hectic with every one needed to be off at the same time. As a result cases out by 1am, luggage tags are delivered on your last evening and disembarkation starts around 10am. Aside from the embarkation photo there were no photographers at each stop holding up the line and if you wanted a piccie at night they were available. Food The food is typically Mediterranean. When you walk into the buffet you will see bread, cheese, pizza, pasta at lunch time. My advice is to walk around the whole of the buffet area and there is lots of choice. We found a salad bar with a carvery that suited our tastes but they also had italien specialities every day elsewhere in the buffet. Same at breakfast, there is an egg station to fry your eggs/omelettes but walk round to find it. At dinner they have 5 courses, one of which is a pasta course. This tends to mean that each portion is smaller than what we would have at home. However, we missed the pasta out and asked to have a second appetiser to suit us and that was no problem. We tried the pizza restaurant at 4 euro each and had a very decent fresh pizza, salad bar and desert choice. We also ate in the Speciality dining 3 nights, now that costs 25 Euro each but the food was superb. The reason we avoided the dining room was not food related. On our first night we sat with 4 French folk who were lovely but only 1 could speak English and that’s hard going for 90 minutes. The Matire D tried to move us and we sat with 2 Dutch people the second night and again their English was limited. My husband and I prefer to be by ourselves and there are few tables for 2 as the Italians tend to travel in larger groups. For our first time we did get a table for 2 and it was great but for our own enjoyment we decided to pay the extra, sit by ourselves and have the food that they offered there. Drinks Package If you are going to have a posh coffee, a soda, 2 glasses of wine at lunch and 2 glasses of wine at night you will break even. We calculated that most days we had around 8 drinks ( posh coffess/Soda/ Wine at lunch and dinner and the odd cocktail/spirit) so for 25Euros per day per person it’s good value. There is a really good selection of all beverages, some are excluded such as Jack Dainels Whiskey but there are other whiskeys that you can have. Entertainment The shows all tend to be for an international audience so singers, dancers. Magician etc. The dancers really put on an energetic and lively set of shows. There was a crew show one night and a video of Sting in Concert. So something to see every night but they do not have teh same lavish productions as RCCL, there is no live orchestra but of course, you are not paying the same money for your trip and here’s one trade off area. There were parties every night and it seemed that all age groups joined in whatever the event. We had a super time at a party by the pool with the DJ one night. The entertainment guys showed us the dance moves to Italian disco music and I looked around and there were teenagers to retired folks jigging about. Join in, let yourself go and you’ll enjoy it. There were of course quieter events such as a piano bar, a dance band for the ballroom lovers and a rock and roll band if you wanted something inbetween. The Italians party late which also means that most days the ship is quiet until around 10am and most port visits start later than you will usually find ( and of course end later) that meant we could enjoy a quiet breakfast, do some gentle walking around the decks and still enjoy a tour. Tours Very reasonably priced for shuttles 5-8 Euro depending on distance. We paid 50E each for a transfer to Rome for the day ( 2hours each way) and most trips were around the 50E price so much better value than competitors. The only downside for English guests is that not all tours are available , depending on the mix onboard. We only had to switch trips one day to ensure and English guide but that is something to be aware of it you are desperate to see something. The one place I would say absolutely do a tour is Tunis. The town is a long way from the port and it’s a confusing place to try to do on your own.  

Costa- will it suit you?

Costa Fascinosa Cruise Review by hm+jdmcruisers

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I have completed 30+ cruises on all the major lines over the last 15 years and have recently tried both the Pacifica and Fascinosa ships so hopefully I can provide a balanced review for members. It is clear this is a company who want to rebuild their reputation and do all they can to help you enjoy your cruise. Are they in the same league as Holland and America?-no. But neither are their prices and it maybe that you are happy to accept some of the "trade offs" in terms of expense:
Cleanliness
The ship was constantly being cleaned, the decks were disinfected every morning and one evening when I nipped back to the cabin the beds had been moved and the attendant was cleaning underneath them. I have never seen that on RCCL, HAL, Princess or Celebrity. We had fresh towels automatically daily and new linen every 2 days.
Staff
Were all friendly and attentive and one occasion, we ordered a pot of tea mid afternoon in a lounge. The assistant explained they only had alcohol in that bar but she rang and found us an attendant that came in specially to take our order and delivered it. There was a couple of evenings in the theatre were service was slow and this tended to be on the production show nights when the theatre was full. Arrive 15-20mins prior and you’ll be served.
Logistics
We were met at the airport but did have to wait for our transfer and then again to embark. We arrived in Marseille at 10.30, had to wait until 12.30 for the transfer ( when all flights had arrived) and then wait at the cruise centre. This was not explained very well and made us a little frustrated. Had we been told of the timings we could have gone and got a coffee at the airport or planned our journey differently.
Costa flight policy is that you do not know the flight you are on until you have booked. This worked out great on the previous cruise when we embarked in Savona as the flight arrived at 10.30, 2 hour scenic transfer and we walked straight on the ship. On disembarkation, again straight to airport and then a 2pm flight back to UK.
However, in Marseille we disembarked at 10am and their policy is to leave 3 hours until the flight time which meant we could not go on the 12.20pm back to Heathrow and we were placed on the 8.35pm. We made the most of the day by leaving our luggage at the airport ( 15 euro per case) and caught the transfer the train station in Marseille centre for 26 Euro return for 2. If you have the time, my advice is book your own flights even if it means going a day either side and staying in a hotel. We needed to do Sat to Saturday so we were very limited and it meant a very long day.
Costa do embark/disembark at most ports so it’s not quite so hectic with every one needed to be off at the same time. As a result cases out by 1am, luggage tags are delivered on your last evening and disembarkation starts around 10am.
Aside from the embarkation photo there were no photographers at each stop holding up the line and if you wanted a piccie at night they were available.
Food
The food is typically Mediterranean. When you walk into the buffet you will see bread, cheese, pizza, pasta at lunch time. My advice is to walk around the whole of the buffet area and there is lots of choice. We found a salad bar with a carvery that suited our tastes but they also had italien specialities every day elsewhere in the buffet. Same at breakfast, there is an egg station to fry your eggs/omelettes but walk round to find it. At dinner they have 5 courses, one of which is a pasta course. This tends to mean that each portion is smaller than what we would have at home. However, we missed the pasta out and asked to have a second appetiser to suit us and that was no problem. We tried the pizza restaurant at 4 euro each and had a very decent fresh pizza, salad bar and desert choice. We also ate in the Speciality dining 3 nights, now that costs 25 Euro each but the food was superb.
The reason we avoided the dining room was not food related. On our first night we sat with 4 French folk who were lovely but only 1 could speak English and that’s hard going for 90 minutes. The Matire D tried to move us and we sat with 2 Dutch people the second night and again their English was limited. My husband and I prefer to be by ourselves and there are few tables for 2 as the Italians tend to travel in larger groups. For our first time we did get a table for 2 and it was great but for our own enjoyment we decided to pay the extra, sit by ourselves and have the food that they offered there.
Drinks Package
If you are going to have a posh coffee, a soda, 2 glasses of wine at lunch and 2 glasses of wine at night you will break even. We calculated that most days we had around 8 drinks ( posh coffess/Soda/ Wine at lunch and dinner and the odd cocktail/spirit) so for 25Euros per day per person it’s good value. There is a really good selection of all beverages, some are excluded such as Jack Dainels Whiskey but there are other whiskeys that you can have.
Entertainment
The shows all tend to be for an international audience so singers, dancers. Magician etc. The dancers really put on an energetic and lively set of shows. There was a crew show one night and a video of Sting in Concert. So something to see every night but they do not have teh same lavish productions as RCCL, there is no live orchestra but of course, you are not paying the same money for your trip and here’s one trade off area. There were parties every night and it seemed that all age groups joined in whatever the event. We had a super time at a party by the pool with the DJ one night. The entertainment guys showed us the dance moves to Italian disco music and I looked around and there were teenagers to retired folks jigging about. Join in, let yourself go and you’ll enjoy it. There were of course quieter events such as a piano bar, a dance band for the ballroom lovers and a rock and roll band if you wanted something inbetween.
The Italians party late which also means that most days the ship is quiet until around 10am and most port visits start later than you will usually find ( and of course end later) that meant we could enjoy a quiet breakfast, do some gentle walking around the decks and still enjoy a tour.
Tours
Very reasonably priced for shuttles 5-8 Euro depending on distance. We paid 50E each for a transfer to Rome for the day ( 2hours each way) and most trips were around the 50E price so much better value than competitors. The only downside for English guests is that not all tours are available , depending on the mix onboard. We only had to switch trips one day to ensure and English guide but that is something to be aware of it you are desperate to see something. The one place I would say absolutely do a tour is Tunis. The town is a long way from the port and it’s a confusing place to try to do on your own.
 
hm+jdmcruisers’s Full Rating Summary
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