Arrived at the port at 1pm to find pushing , shoving and yelling and no signs to help and had to hunt for assistance.
Finally on board and we were directed to the buffet as our cabin was not yet ready. More pushing, shoving and yelling with lines to the buffet ,scrambling for a table and the food was not good.
6pm and no suitcases but I found them by the elevators and took them to our cabin.
Dinner: we finally found our assigned table but there was no place left for us. More pushing , shoving and yelling as there were about 60 other passengers without tables and only one Maitre D who could reassign tables and only he could take you to the new table so he was running around like a chicken with its head cut off .
Our cabin was pleasant with a balcony.Our bathroom was "stocked" with one small piece of ordinary soap and a liquid soap dispenser in the shower.Our balcony neighbour smoked frequently and even the ash came onto us.
Coffee and tea were only available at breakfast and afternoon tea.Any other time like lunch or dinner you had to pay for it. The coffee served often tasted stale and reheated.
Water was available at the buffet but if you wanted table water in the dining room at lunch or dinner you paid for it
At sea the buffet was closed in the evening so if you wanted a snack there was a pizza room with a charge.
Food: served almost warm,never hot, and of mediocre quality. The only salad served was sad looking green salad with a few garnishes and commercial tasting dressing
Meal service in the dining room at breakfast and lunch was very slow and often the waiters were grumpy. Meals in the buffet had long lines and poor food. It had the atmosphere of a high school cafeteria
Library: the books were old paperbacks left by passengers and the Costa label stuck on.They then filled out a triple form to take them out.
There were generous areas for smoking but that did not stop some passengers for lighting up wherever they felt like it.Passengers were told in the daily bulletin not to enter the buffet in bathing suits but that did not stop them. They also left their towels on the sun chairs and disappeared the result was that these were in short supply.
Breakfast in the cabin.5 euro charge
Often the ship was docked far from the entrance a shuttle was provided with a charge for it
At each entrance to the dining rooms when about 600 people would charge in at the same time only one hand hygiene gel dispenser was provided and it was often empty.
The ports were interesting( which is the main reason we chose this ship) but they did not always stay for a full day.
If there was ever a problem the staff would make the excuse that "the ship is full". Surely they would have known this for some time and made adjustments? It seemed to be understaffed which is perhaps the reason some of the staff were grumpy and less helpful than usual.
On the positive side the Costa theatre perfomances by their entertainment team were very innovative and professional.
Also on the positive side we arrived back healthy and in one piece!
The business model seemed to be like Ryan Air i.e. charge for everything and anything they could. However what we paid for the cruise did not reflect this and so we feel we did not get what we paid for.
The cabin was pleasant though it sometimes smelled of smoke.It was quiet.In the middle of the cruise while in a port workmen came in to update the TV and at times the balcony could not be used due to maintenance.Our cabin steward was pleasant and kept the room clean, but he never went out of his way to offer us ice or shampoo that I found out later could be asked for
we took the little train up to the monastery. This city was more beautiful and interesting than i had believed
A bit spooky and I would not walk there alone
The ship was only here until 1pm not long enough
took the cable car
took a local tour