Costa Serena Cruise Review by Cullen1224
- Sail Date: March 2008
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
Service was another area we found disappointing. Yet, another example of the constant nickel and dimming is charging for room service, this is the first cruise we have ever been charged for room service! One of the reasons we enjoy cruising so much is the service we receive. On Costa - service is provided at a flat fee - meaning, at the end of your cruise you are charged a flat rate for the services provided while aboard. Essentially this removes the incentive for staff to provide service to guests, and often - as a result - we found completely disengaged staff - who simply shrugged when requests were made of them. This includes the customer service folks at the front desk - many of whom disengaged when we asked specific questions
FOOD: Aside from the service, and general peace and quiet - we also enjoy cruising for the excellent variety and quality of food. We found this element with Costa - incredibly disappointing. Breakfast and dinner wasn't too bad - typical eggs, bacon, fruit for breakfast and dinner 5 course meals. Lunch and the midnight 'snack' another story altogether. Lunch; hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries all buffet style - stale rolls and some off fruit. Food lines were well beyond what you would you would see on an American ship. The buffet also consisted of PIZZA constantly - Many complaints were overheard about the amount of money spent for such poor quality and choice - not impressive overall.
Cleanliness was an issue. Our cabin was - very comfortable and well appointed and cleaned twice daily (our Cabin Steward was EXCELLENT). However the common areas were often in disarray and dirty. Poolside tables were left unclean for long periods, hallways often cluttered with debris. In our cabin we had a balcony, a portion of which was glass. This went unclean for 8 of the 11 days while onboard and as a result we couldn't see out of it. In our opinion this was a waste of a purchase of a 'balcony' due to the obstructed view. We asked for it to be cleaned and was told exterior cleaning of the windows would only be facilitated at a certain port (which was correct) unfortunately that port was not reached until the latter portion of our trip.
ONSHORE EXCURSIONS: BE CAREFUL with Costa!! We researched each of our ports to find alternative activities by going on the internet and to the local tourist information sites. Several identical excursions offered by Costa were available at the ports sometimes at half the cost!! When we raised this issue to the excursion desk we were informed "it's a business and we have to get our cut to". We did do two excursions with Costa - the trip to FEZ in Morocco and horseback riding. Neither was
We wished we had had some of this information before making our decision. Also it is important to note there is a remarkable "sell" mentality onboard which, again, not commonly found among the American lines. From the moment you board we found the constant "push" for you to purchase extra's incredibly tacky and distasteful. People walk around at dinner trying to sell you appetizers on trays, extra desserts or drinks - unreal. Also, there are drink "packages" available to purchase to include, soft drinks, wine and water (yes bottled water). We purchased the bottle water drink package 29.99 euros for 13 bottles - equivalent is almost $50 (USD) for 13 bottles!! (and we only used 8 of our allotted tickets - no refunds) you would do better to purchase the water as you disembark for port days. Also, you should know Costa charges 10 euros (almost 17 USD per person) for a shuttle bus at the various ports you arrive to take you to the town! First time we ever paid to get from the ship to town. Just another illustration of the constant nickel and diming we found tacky and uncomfortable.
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