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We are not seasoned cruisers having only been on four cruises - the first three with P&O and the last with Costa. The price we paid for our inside cabin was very reasonable - however it was discounted still further by Iglu cruise because we booked an outside cabin but were allocated an inside. Iglu cruise said this was an error but I strongly suspect that they sell you anything to get your booking and then work out what they can and cannot provide. Not an acceptable business practice in my view - but that is an issue with Iglu Cruise and not (possibly) with Costa. The bad points first. Costas organisational ability in relation to our transfer from Nice Airport to Savona Port was absolutely woeful. No one was there to meet us from our on time flight at 0905 am from Gatwick. After about half an hour of waiting around I noticed a man sticking up "Costa meeting point" signs just outside the terminal building. I spoke with him and he said that I must have spoken with his colleague who was there to meet us as we arrived. I told him that there was no one there to meet us - as all our fellow Costa customers can vouch for. He simply refused to believe me - saying that was not possible and laughing nervously - basically implying that I was making it up. After a further half an hour a coach turned up and a woman from Costa who had just arrived said to us "what can I do - I have four hundred people and just one coach" With the best will in the world - it's not our problem. Costa would have (should have) known well in advance how many transfer customers were arriving at Nice Airport that morning. If they lack the ability to organise enough coaches to cater for that then they really shouldn't be in business. We were lucky - we were at the front of the queue and managed to get on the first coach. However, there was no Costa rep provided on the transfer coach - just our driver Giovanni who spoke no English. He was a good driver but on arrival at Savona port for our embarkation we were greeted by a Costa rep who spoke for five minutes or so in Italian. She apparently had no idea we were all British and so was wasting her time - she just assumed we were Italian. We were then given vague directions about entering the terminal building to board our ship. Now as we could see from the coach where Giovanni had parked, there were two terminal buildings. A smaller one on our left right next to where our ship was docked and a much larger terminal building to our right where another Costa ship (Costa Favolosa) was docked. We all not unnaturally made the assumption that the terminal building to our left next to our ship was the one we wanted. We went there and were turned away by a Security Guard who gave us further unclear instructions about where we needed to go. We thought perhaps there was an entrance on another side of the building that we should be using. We found no other entrance so returned to the same Security Guard and were finally given proper directions and instructions. We had to enter the large terminal building on the opposite side of the dock from where our Ship was docked and we would then make our way to our ship across an upper level walkway that linked the two terminal buildings. Sorry Costa - but how on earth were we supposed to work that out by ourselves without either clear instructions or a member of staff to guide us there - neither of which were provided. Couple that with our pathetic/non existent meet and greet at Nice Airport and I confess I was not in the best of moods and my opinion of Costa Cruises was at a very low level. You only get one chance to make a first impression and Costa - you failed on a biblical scale. After we embarked and got to our cabin - still seething from our dreadful transfer - the first thing we noticed was that it absolutely stank of cigarette smoke. I don't know how it found it's way in there - there are smoke detectors in the cabins. Possibly from the previous occupants smoking in the ensuite which cannot have smoke detectors because the steam from the shower would activate them. Or possibly through the A/C system. I called Guest Services (Reception) and they said they would pass on a request to housekeeping to refresh the room. I asked how long that would take because it was so overpowering. I was just told that it had been passed to housekeeping. That answer was supposed to satisfy me - they had done their job in passing it on - so what more did I expect?!! Anyway, the smell did reduce after a few hours. Another bad point relates to the all inclusive drinks package we purchased at a cost of 28.75 euros per person for the duration of our cruise. Now having spent that amount of money, I don't expect to have to spend extra to buy water. With Costas all-inclusive package you do if you want a bottle to take to bed. You can only have water by the glass. What use is that when you want to drink water in the night. They even had the cheek to leave a bottle of water out of the mini-bar (all mini-bar drinks are extra) with a little tag around it. We made the assumption that because it was left outside the mini-bar it was complimentary. WRONG - we were charged 2.95 euros for it. On closer inspection of the tag around it it said "Dear Guest - we are sure you will appreciate the provision of this bottle of water in your cabin. Please note that should you open it your room account will be charged 2.95 euros" True hospitality!! OK now I've got that off my chest - all that remains is the positive. Firstly the staff. Secondly the staff Thirdly the staff All the front of house staff were exceptional. Happy, relaxed and customer focused. Now our previous cruising experiences have all been with P&O. Their staff are drawn from the same Countries - mainly India, Philippines and Indonesia but with Costa they just seem so much happier and that is reflected in the wonderful service they provide. I'm not saying service is poor on P&O but it is just so much better with Costa. The food. Really good quality cuisine - but for my British palate, P&O definitely has the edge and has more variety of cuisines

Some very good points and many very poor

Costa neoRiviera Cruise Review by DennisJames

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are not seasoned cruisers having only been on four cruises - the first three with P&O and the last with Costa.

The price we paid for our inside cabin was very reasonable - however it was discounted still further by Iglu cruise because we booked an outside cabin but were allocated an inside. Iglu cruise said this was an error but I strongly suspect that they sell you anything to get your booking and then work out what they can and cannot provide. Not an acceptable business practice in my view - but that is an issue with Iglu Cruise and not (possibly) with Costa.

The bad points first.

Costas organisational ability in relation to our transfer from Nice Airport to Savona Port was absolutely woeful.

No one was there to meet us from our on time flight at 0905 am from Gatwick. After about half an hour of waiting around I noticed a man sticking up "Costa meeting point" signs just outside the terminal building. I spoke with him and he said that I must have spoken with his colleague who was there to meet us as we arrived. I told him that there was no one there to meet us - as all our fellow Costa customers can vouch for. He simply refused to believe me - saying that was not possible and laughing nervously - basically implying that I was making it up.

After a further half an hour a coach turned up and a woman from Costa who had just arrived said to us "what can I do - I have four hundred people and just one coach" With the best will in the world - it's not our problem. Costa would have (should have) known well in advance how many transfer customers were arriving at Nice Airport that morning. If they lack the ability to organise enough coaches to cater for that then they really shouldn't be in business.

We were lucky - we were at the front of the queue and managed to get on the first coach.

However, there was no Costa rep provided on the transfer coach - just our driver Giovanni who spoke no English. He was a good driver but on arrival at Savona port for our embarkation we were greeted by a Costa rep who spoke for five minutes or so in Italian. She apparently had no idea we were all British and so was wasting her time - she just assumed we were Italian.

We were then given vague directions about entering the terminal building to board our ship.

Now as we could see from the coach where Giovanni had parked, there were two terminal buildings. A smaller one on our left right next to where our ship was docked and a much larger terminal building to our right where another Costa ship (Costa Favolosa) was docked.

We all not unnaturally made the assumption that the terminal building to our left next to our ship was the one we wanted. We went there and were turned away by a Security Guard who gave us further unclear instructions about where we needed to go. We thought perhaps there was an entrance on another side of the building that we should be using. We found no other entrance so returned to the same Security Guard and were finally given proper directions and instructions. We had to enter the large terminal building on the opposite side of the dock from where our Ship was docked and we would then make our way to our ship across an upper level walkway that linked the two terminal buildings.

Sorry Costa - but how on earth were we supposed to work that out by ourselves without either clear instructions or a member of staff to guide us there - neither of which were provided. Couple that with our pathetic/non existent meet and greet at Nice Airport and I confess I was not in the best of moods and my opinion of Costa Cruises was at a very low level. You only get one chance to make a first impression and Costa - you failed on a biblical scale.

After we embarked and got to our cabin - still seething from our dreadful transfer - the first thing we noticed was that it absolutely stank of cigarette smoke. I don't know how it found it's way in there - there are smoke detectors in the cabins. Possibly from the previous occupants smoking in the ensuite which cannot have smoke detectors because the steam from the shower would activate them. Or possibly through the A/C system.

I called Guest Services (Reception) and they said they would pass on a request to housekeeping to refresh the room. I asked how long that would take because it was so overpowering. I was just told that it had been passed to housekeeping. That answer was supposed to satisfy me - they had done their job in passing it on - so what more did I expect?!!

Anyway, the smell did reduce after a few hours.

Another bad point relates to the all inclusive drinks package we purchased at a cost of 28.75 euros per person for the duration of our cruise. Now having spent that amount of money, I don't expect to have to spend extra to buy water. With Costas all-inclusive package you do if you want a bottle to take to bed. You can only have water by the glass. What use is that when you want to drink water in the night. They even had the cheek to leave a bottle of water out of the mini-bar (all mini-bar drinks are extra) with a little tag around it. We made the assumption that because it was left outside the mini-bar it was complimentary. WRONG - we were charged 2.95 euros for it. On closer inspection of the tag around it it said

"Dear Guest - we are sure you will appreciate the provision of this bottle of water in your cabin.

Please note that should you open it your room account will be charged 2.95 euros"

True hospitality!!

OK now I've got that off my chest - all that remains is the positive.

Firstly the staff.

Secondly the staff

Thirdly the staff

All the front of house staff were exceptional. Happy, relaxed and customer focused. Now our previous cruising experiences have all been with P&O. Their staff are drawn from the same Countries - mainly India, Philippines and Indonesia but with Costa they just seem so much happier and that is reflected in the wonderful service they provide. I'm not saying service is poor on P&O but it is just so much better with Costa.

The food.

Really good quality cuisine - but for my British palate, P&O definitely has the edge and has more variety of cuisines
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9073
Larger than our inside cabin on P&O Oriana - but it did stink of cigarette smoke
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