We flew to Port Louis Mauritius to board the Costa NeoRomantica. On arrival after overnight flights and taxi journey we were met in a marquee by crew members. A welcome drink or wet towel would have made us feel welcome. We had our passports taken and were told they would be returned at the end of the cruise. We boarded the ship and as our onboard card was in our cabin which was not accessible for another hour were directed to the lift and told to go to deck 10 for the buffet. On leaving the lift we discovered the restaraunt cannot be reached on deck 10, you need to go up or down a level to reach that end of the ship. As we left 2 weeks later they were still sending guests to 10.
It seems that all Costa are interested in is your money they make no effort to provide an enjoyable experience on this ship.
Buffet restaraunt juice is a sugary cordial. Cereals of the cheapest kind. For the first time in 50+ years of travelling I struggled to find something to eat and I am not a fussy eater. Free tea and coffee available. The only time of day it is.
Main restaraunt. The food was good but very Italian. They could have had the occasional theme night. It became very bland after a week or so. No coffee after the meal.
The waiters were exceptional friendly and very hard working.cabin was adequate. Walls were thin and we could hear other people's conversations and for 2 days we had workmen in the next cabin stripping it down so noisy doors banging etc. A bonus was no charge for safe.
Entertainment. Show lounge was poor they gave up the theatre for a spa I believe. Dancers were good. Also had a wonderful opera singer and 2 singers from S. Africa. Usual quizzes, bingo, cookery demos.
Air conditioning in public areas to cold. Lots of people coughing. Outdoor areas not enough shade for people who want to be outside but not in full sun.
Compulsory tipping €9 per day p.p. Charged to your account. 15% tax added to all purchases drinks etc. Drinks package € 28 p.p. Per day make it an expensive holiday. The shop was poorly stocked. A few cigarettes mainly Costa merchandise lack of everyday items, things you may need. Baileys and another liqueur . No food or drink allowed to be brought on board.
We booked a couple of tours but mainly did our own thing.
Seychells, you can use euros but need local money for busses market. Atm's in town. We took a local bus to the south of the island costing about £1 each also a bus across the top of the island. The ferry to Praslin was €90 each way for a 1 hour journey.
Madagascar, not for the feint hearted. A very poor island. Nosy be. Tender port we were met by a crowd of people offering tours and lots of market stalls selling touristy items. There is really nothing to see in the town.
Diego Suarez. We took an excursion to red Tsingay roads in poor condition as were vehicles. A 2 hour drive on Tarmac and dirt roads to reach the site. Not sure if it was worth it only to see some of the country. Beware we were told toilets were of a local nature. We were not offered a stop and everyone had to use the bushes.
Tamatave. We went to see the lemurs at a local park. They were all kept in cages, there was 1 snake . Worth the trip to see the villages.
Reunion island. This is a very different is. You have to get a shuttle bus through the port area as it is a working industrial port. We shared a taxi to St Denis €40 one way. Lots of shops and some beautiful houses. We took the local bus back €2 but it only goes part of the way. You have to get a free shuttle bus to the port this is a 15 minute walk and not easy to find.
Mauritius.We took a taxi tour to Papplemousse gardens. Well worth a visit 100 rupees each to get in. You can pay extra for a guide and it is well wort it as all the plants are explained. We then went on to the north coast and beaches. There is a very strong Indian influence here. Food is inexpensive.
In some of the ports we asked onboard for maps information and were just tol no we have nothing. On previous cruises (not Costa)we had information sheets delivered to our cabin the night before.
Disembarkation. Had to vacate cabin by 8 a.m. So went for breakfast at 7a.m. Leaving hand luggage in our cabin to collect later. On returning at 7.30 to collect it we discovered our cabin had already been made up for the next guests before we had vacated. Our taxi transfer was booked for 9 a.m. Although our flight was 11p.m. We were stuck with our suitcases all day as we couldn't check in until 3 hours before our flight.
Take note Costa people go on holiday to enjoy themselves. If you want clients to return you need to up your game. Listen to what they say. I was not the only one other people we spoke to were dissatisfied. I will not be booking another Costa cruise.
Thin walls could hear conversations from adjoining cabins.room made up for next clients before we vacated.