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My sister and I have done quite a bit of cruising. This was our first on Costa and it will be our last on Costa. The destination was what caught my sister's imagination. She has always wanted to go to India. I didn't like India but you can't blame Costa for that bit. However, overall the trip was pretty awful. We tried to make the most of it but here's a catalogue of negative comments with one or two positives. EMBARKATION - We arrived in Dubai airport about 8am. Despite being told we could embark at 3pm it was 8pm and the rooms were still not ready. We got access to our cabin after dinner. Our room was not made up as a twin, as instructed, and we waited a further 2 hours for that to be done. It was late, we were tired - not a good start. This followed on from discovering that there is no water available in the restaurant unless you pay for it at 3.50 a litre bottle. It worked up from there really, so many little niggles. DRINKS - Free Tea & Coffee only available in the Cafeteria at breakfast 7.30 till 9.30, none at lunch, you can have a cup at tea time 4 till 5pm, nothing with dinner. Coffee in the cabin (no tea available) charged at 1.55 per cup. My sister was disgusted (I don't drink either). The drinks package was, in our view, expensive but in hindsight might have been worth the extra 500 each, it would have stopped the constant moaning and panic to get one. TOURS - Our pre-booked tours had not been actioned. The queue at the first port of call for landing documents etc was VERY badly managed resulting in hundreds of disgruntled passengers. Port information was not made available until the night before you landed, even on request, so it was difficult to ascertain whether you needed to book a trip. In some ports it was illegal to walk out by yourself. HEALTH & SAFETY - On lifeboat drill there was only 1 jacket in the cabin (a long swim for me then!) though this was quickly remedied when I reported it at muster. It was one of the more relaxed ships regarding hand cleansing etc, but no reports of any bugs. ENTERTAINMENT - The shows were of poor quality by comparison to other lines. The information in Diario de Bordo was non existent, just the title, no description. On nights when there was a later 'back on board' time, there were no shows. The midnight disco/bar never happened, though it was advertised and we went up there. The bar wasn't even open. Two old ducks alone, plus one bored DJ who just put a mix tape on - how sad was that. There were huge gaps in the evening entertainment. It felt like long periods of boredom interspersed with eating a lot of the time. Our highlight was watching other passengers elegantly ballroom dancing. There were free craft sessions, which were a bit basic, but well received. The girls who led them were friendly and enthusiastic. SOCIAL - A very poor effort at making guest feel comfortable and welcome. It was very much an international cruise - all announcements in 5 languages. Staff language skills were awesome. However, there was NO attempt to make single travellers feel welcome or any chance for them to get together. There was one attempt to get English speakers together in WEEK 3 - a bit late but perhaps someone had been listening (mind you not even a free glass of water). I suggest coloured lanyards be issued, so that everyone could recognise fellow passengers they could actually speak to. INFORMATION - The Diario de Bordo (daily information sheet) was often wrong regarding times of food service. We arrived back just before 3pm expecting the restaurant to still be open - no such luck. Time change information was in the tiniest of writing, easily missed, however, we realised had we not gone to bed early, it would not have been a problem, as the Cabin Staff set the TV to show it. EATING - The restaurant service was slow on the few times we used it. In general we used the cafeteria, so that we could drink water freely. The quality and selection of the food was quite good, though often not hot, even if you caught the waiter just laying it out. However, I was majorly disappointed to find that all the food was Italian/European. Travelling to India I was really looking forward to Asian food. No menu's displayed prior to mealtimes, so you couldn't decide where to eat on that basis. SHIP - Nice small ship. They seem geared toward smokers (which we are not) - dedicated smoking room, all the comfy chairs in smoking areas. Made us non smokers feel 2nd rate. By the end of our 3 weeks, the windows had so much salt on them we could barely see out. STAFF - Service staff as usual, hard working, friendly - lovely. The English rep was a 'company man'. My sister arrived as I had finished making my comments, and his reply was "this is not a 5* ship, only 4*" My sister, rightly, pointed out that she had been on 3* ships that were much better - his reply "that's your opinion". We got no feedback on our complaints. IN GENERAL - I would rather pay a bit more for my cruise that feel I'm being fleeced at every turn.

Never Again!

Costa neoRiviera Cruise Review by Ann_S

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom
My sister and I have done quite a bit of cruising. This was our first on Costa and it will be our last on Costa. The destination was what caught my sister's imagination. She has always wanted to go to India. I didn't like India but you can't blame Costa for that bit. However, overall the trip was pretty awful. We tried to make the most of it but here's a catalogue of negative comments with one or two positives.

EMBARKATION - We arrived in Dubai airport about 8am. Despite being told we could embark at 3pm it was 8pm and the rooms were still not ready. We got access to our cabin after dinner. Our room was not made up as a twin, as instructed, and we waited a further 2 hours for that to be done. It was late, we were tired - not a good start. This followed on from discovering that there is no water available in the restaurant unless you pay for it at 3.50 a litre bottle. It worked up from there really, so many little niggles.

DRINKS - Free Tea & Coffee only available in the Cafeteria at breakfast 7.30 till 9.30, none at lunch, you can have a cup at tea time 4 till 5pm, nothing with dinner. Coffee in the cabin (no tea available) charged at 1.55 per cup. My sister was disgusted (I don't drink either). The drinks package was, in our view, expensive but in hindsight might have been worth the extra 500 each, it would have stopped the constant moaning and panic to get one.

TOURS - Our pre-booked tours had not been actioned. The queue at the first port of call for landing documents etc was VERY badly managed resulting in hundreds of disgruntled passengers. Port information was not made available until the night before you landed, even on request, so it was difficult to ascertain whether you needed to book a trip. In some ports it was illegal to walk out by yourself.

HEALTH & SAFETY - On lifeboat drill there was only 1 jacket in the cabin (a long swim for me then!) though this was quickly remedied when I reported it at muster. It was one of the more relaxed ships regarding hand cleansing etc, but no reports of any bugs.

ENTERTAINMENT - The shows were of poor quality by comparison to other lines. The information in Diario de Bordo was non existent, just the title, no description. On nights when there was a later 'back on board' time, there were no shows. The midnight disco/bar never happened, though it was advertised and we went up there. The bar wasn't even open. Two old ducks alone, plus one bored DJ who just put a mix tape on - how sad was that. There were huge gaps in the evening entertainment. It felt like long periods of boredom interspersed with eating a lot of the time. Our highlight was watching other passengers elegantly ballroom dancing. There were free craft sessions, which were a bit basic, but well received. The girls who led them were friendly and enthusiastic.

SOCIAL - A very poor effort at making guest feel comfortable and welcome. It was very much an international cruise - all announcements in 5 languages. Staff language skills were awesome. However, there was NO attempt to make single travellers feel welcome or any chance for them to get together. There was one attempt to get English speakers together in WEEK 3 - a bit late but perhaps someone had been listening (mind you not even a free glass of water). I suggest coloured lanyards be issued, so that everyone could recognise fellow passengers they could actually speak to.

INFORMATION - The Diario de Bordo (daily information sheet) was often wrong regarding times of food service. We arrived back just before 3pm expecting the restaurant to still be open - no such luck. Time change information was in the tiniest of writing, easily missed, however, we realised had we not gone to bed early, it would not have been a problem, as the Cabin Staff set the TV to show it.

EATING - The restaurant service was slow on the few times we used it. In general we used the cafeteria, so that we could drink water freely. The quality and selection of the food was quite good, though often not hot, even if you caught the waiter just laying it out. However, I was majorly disappointed to find that all the food was Italian/European. Travelling to India I was really looking forward to Asian food. No menu's displayed prior to mealtimes, so you couldn't decide where to eat on that basis.

SHIP - Nice small ship. They seem geared toward smokers (which we are not) - dedicated smoking room, all the comfy chairs in smoking areas. Made us non smokers feel 2nd rate. By the end of our 3 weeks, the windows had so much salt on them we could barely see out.

STAFF - Service staff as usual, hard working, friendly - lovely. The English rep was a 'company man'. My sister arrived as I had finished making my comments, and his reply was "this is not a 5* ship, only 4*" My sister, rightly, pointed out that she had been on 3* ships that were much better - his reply "that's your opinion". We got no feedback on our complaints.

IN GENERAL - I would rather pay a bit more for my cruise that feel I'm being fleeced at every turn.
Ann_S’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom
Cabin IC 1087
The cabin was basic, but smelled of stale water in the bathroom. We complained, it was fixed short term by some cleaning, but kept recurring. We didn't bother complaining again. The bathroom supplies felt cheap and cheerful. Towels were yellow, but this didn't disguise the fact that they did not always appear to be very clean.
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