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My Costa Cruise experience My husband and I are celebrating out 10th wedding anniversary. We chose a Costa cruise through the Mediterranean to celebrate. From the onset of this cruise it has been disappointment after disappointment. The service, the food, the petty costs (service fee abound) and the never ending sales pitches to sell more and more all contribute to that disappointment. Not once did anyone ask or hint at our celebration. Even though I filled out the online check in questionnaire and gave that information. We boarded in Barcelona. The airline, Air France lost our luggage. Not Costa's fault but their handling after gave us an indication of the lack of service to be expected. The airline got our baggage to the ship before sailing, however, Costa personnel did not get the word or coordinate the quick processing of our luggage to us. At about 2030 hours, We received a note advising us to notify reception about our luggage. Of coarse we made our way to reception amazed it had really arrived. We were told the luggage had arrived to the port but the ship already left so we will get it the next day in Valencia. Couldn't that be written on the note? Why make us come all the way to the desk, wait in the never ending line and then be told sorry it's at the dock but not on the ship. Then, several hours later, to our amazement we were woken up by a call at 2330 hours informing us our luggage had made it onto the ship after all and we could come once again to reception get it. REALLY???? The bags couldn't be delivered to us? I insisted they be delivered and they were. Thank you for that ounce of forced hospitality. I'm waiting for the service fee. The direction as to services and explanation of the ship is very limited. We walked on the ship and there was NO ONE to help us find our way. We were on our own. This is a cruises right? I paid money to be here and I am on vacation. I'm confused. Because it felt like military service. Every man for himsellf. So we make our way to the room, still encouraged and excited for our vacation to begin and be memory filled. Our room is spacious with a king sized bed. Every day items often found in a hotel room are sparse. We have one bottle of water, which a note advises will cost 2.95 if we consume it. We have one small bar of soap and liquid shower gel which also Is the hair shampoo and towels ( 2 hand towels and two bath towels) THATS IT!!! A book with room service directions and a slip of paper with bar items are on the counter. On the slip of paper lists drinks to order, including soda, water etc. One of the items listed is 6 sodas for 2.95. WOW sounds good, oh no too good to be true. I called room service which typically takes 10 or more minutes to answer, and asked for the soda. No it's 2.95 per soda. REALLY? Since I purchased a drink package (at 29 euros per day, 400 total for both of us) I could get unlimited drinks at the bar and restaurants but not in my room, not even water. So I go to the bar and ask for a bottle of water, no sorry I can only give you a glass of water. I want a bottle of water for my room, sorry can't do it. I guess when I want water, I go to the bar ask for a glass and carry it back to my room. What if I need two, three for the entire night? In between the shower over flowing and flooding the bathroom and the smoke smell in our room, I tried to purchase aspirin. No aspirins in the sundry store of course, that would be too easy. The clerk in the store told me I could get it at the pharmacy, but advised me to check in with hospitality first. Hospitality tells me NO sorry there is no pharmacy you have to go see the doctor (at a cost of 62 euros) before you can buy aspirin!!!!! My husband has allergies and his allergies were irritated by the smoke smells in the room. This persisted throughout the cruise. It felt as if someone was smoking in their room and the smoke was permeating through the vent system. One morning I could smell a cigar, the next I could smell just cigarette smoke. My husband developed a sore throat and congestion to the point he could not function and needed to rest due to the allergies. Needless to say this really caused a damper for our good time. On our sea day I booked a couples massage. We received a "special" announcement that was for a one day thermal pass for 70 euro. No massage included but you could visit the sauna rooms, the jacuzzi and quiet lounge rooms at the spa all day if you chose. But for the 70 euros you can't have a robe, just towels. The robes are for guests that pay for the week long thermal pass. Of course a robe would be way too much to expect! The massage was another 110 euros each. Ok.. Kind of expensive but we are on vacation right? I booked it. At the massage, the technician asked for an in depth medical history and gave a lengthy explanation of services, which seemed to cut into my massage time quit a bit. Finally the massage begins and the technician asks if I want hot stones, yes of course. Later I find out that is 30 euros more!!! 60 for two! Couldn't that have been explained in the lengthy introduction session? After the message the technician is selling products she is sure I need adding up to 250 more! My husband had his own sales pitch of products and more message treatments for an additional 150 euros. I felt played and manipulated! I said no thank you but she continued to try and sell me. On our way out I was informed our total was 140 euro each for one massage that lasted maybe 50 minutes, but advertised as 75 minutes. The technician told me she advised me of the extra cost at the time, I contested but of coarse she won. They have my card or maybe it's their credit card temporarily! Our next hurdle were the excursions. Our tickets were not delivered and we had no direction as to where to meet or times. We figured it out, thank God for our Amazing Race mind set! Our second excursion in Myorca was cancelled due to weather but we were able to take a shuttle to the port for 10 euros each. Oh yes I cannot forget the 18 euro per day hotel service fee, which when I asked was for general services we receive on the ship. Really, what exactly does the cruise fee pay for? I'm getting such fantastic service I can easily feel good about paying even more!!! This is probably the biggest disappointment overall that I have. Not only do I feel I have been nickel and dimmed for every petty expense and charged extra even for water but the staff is not really very friendly or nice! The food is ok and generally always slightly warm. On several dinners the food choices were good and the food very tasty. However, the table server is not plugged in and cannot care less about the people he is serving. On a cruise, my past experience has been the wait staff gets to know the guests by being friendly and being involved. This server is none of those things. He is only concerned with getting the order and bringing the food. Once at dinner, I asked to order a drink before dinner and our server ignored me. My feeling is the waiter simply does not have time to engage since he has too many tables to wait on. I could see the pebbles of sweat on his brow as he tried to rush to serve everyone. The slotted 2 hours is not enough time for dinner. Each night I found we were rushed out for the later dinner service. This wouldn't be a problem if their was a quiet place to converse if that's what you wanted. There is literally no quiet place on this ship other than dinner, your room or the library. It is so packed with people, loud music I felt anxious to get off the ship for some tranquility and peace. The staff was not visibly friendly or even showed a smile. On several occasions I asked a question and received a forced answer from a unconcerned unemotional person. A couple of times the staff person was short and appeared irritated. At no time during this cruise did a staff person go over and above to help me or try and make my experience extra special. Often when I walked the deck a staff person did not even look at me or say hello. This was a routine experience. I paid almost 29 euros per day for drinks as did my husband. Our bill reflected a 409.27 total charge. 53.38 of service fees. Each time I went to the bar to order a drink I was told I couldn't have the drink I wanted because it wasn't on my package. It was on the package and I had to show the bar staff proof. Out of frustration I decided I would order a simpler drink just so I wouldn't have the stress. I ordered two rum and cokes. I asked for one to be with Diet Coke. The bartender gave me two sodas no rum. I asked for the rum and he poured rum in a third glass and gave it to me to mix myself. This happened on May 14 at the pool bar. Maybe there is video surveillance of the transaction. He was clearly annoyed with me and did not think to apologize for his mistake but instead got upset with me. I'm sorry for wanting a drink after spending 200 dollars for a drink package. The announcements on board were in Italian and English, however I could not really understand the English version. This was true for the gala night extravaganza as well. The lady with the microphone spoke very fast and loud making her voice muffled under the loud speaker. Very hard to understand combined with her heavy Italian accent. I got every fourth word. I guess they were introducing the staff, not sure. Our excursion in Valencia was good, our tour guild was knowledgable and fun. His explanations seemed to be very long in Italian and quit a bit shorter in English. Not sure we got the entire explanation or not. It rained heavily the day we toured Valencia, which made the tour hard. I would liked the guild to think about spending more time on inside locations but this was almost entirely outside. We did not go into any of the historical sites on the tour. We only walked by. We visited a market that was very interesting and fun but we only stayed 15 minutes. All and all I would give this excursion a 5 out of 10. The Albuferra portion was ok, not super interesting or worth all the travel. More time in Valencia market would have been great. Also we ate lunch st 1430 which is late for us. Nacho explained this was normal lunch time for him. Several people asked him when lunch was but he pressed on for the tour essentially ignoring repeats to stop for lunch. Our Mallorca excursion was cancelled, but we never received a notice. We didn't even have our tickets yet so we didn't know times or any information. Information sharing and direction was a problem on this ship. After finding our room, we expected the customary safety drill. Did not happen. Later the next day we received a notice advising we failed to attend the drill. WHAT DRILL? The note advised us to read the back of the door for safety tips and watch the video. No direction as to where to watch this video but we assumed on the tv in the room. No no no, it's not there or at least we couldn't find it. We still don't know where to watch the video. Internet access? We purchased two packages, one for me and one for my husband at 25 euros each. The package gives us 250mg each to use. After three days of use without logging off our usage was used. We learned later we needed to log out each time so the usage would not be consumed. How can you use internet data when you are not on the Internet? I spoke to a staff member about this and other issued and she told me she was sorry but it is explained in the brochure and I needed to read it. We obtained the Internet service via the device online not on a brochure. There was no mention of logging off each time. Later in the cruise I purchased another 25 dollars worth of service. At 211 MB the service stopped and would not allow me on the Internet. Go to hospitality for answers. have visited this desk so many times I feel I should be bringing gifts, I know these clerks way too well. They, however do not show any affiliation toward seeing me! Apparently our Palermo excursion was cancelled, no one notified us or gave us a chance to join another excursion. Currently I am sitting waiting for the tour office to open at 0900. The same time the ship arrives at the port. This is what I like to do on vacation, wait for service. I sure hope the excursion is not at 9am. When the tour office opened she told me I could join another excursion. How could I do that they began when the tour office opened? The clerk concealed my point. As I walked on deck this morning, hoping to see views of Palermo, the deck, tables and chairs were wet. I asked a maintenance person for a towel to dry the chair I wanted to sit and drink my coffee at. He was confused but did ask another attendant for a towel. This guy was even more confused. There seemed to be a language barrier but they figured out what I needed. Finally a man in a naval uniform came to us and told me I could go get a napkin and dry it myself. REALLY? I'm feeling very special on this cruise!!!! May 12. At the Topkapi bar, Gabriel served us when I asked for a Crown and diet. Immediately he looked at my card and said no it's not covered, when in fact it was. This is the third time Gabriel has given me a hard time with ordering drinks. Gabriel asked an associate and he too said no it wasn't covered. I had to show them on the menu where it was covered. I will never book a cruise on Costa Cruise Line again and I will at every opportunity give a poor review when asked my thoughts about this cruise. I booked this. Raise through Marriott and you can be sure I will send this review to them.

NEVER NEVER cruise Costa again!!!!!

Costa Fascinosa Cruise Review by RenaH

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My Costa Cruise experience

My husband and I are celebrating out 10th wedding anniversary. We chose a Costa cruise through the Mediterranean to celebrate. From the onset of this cruise it has been disappointment after disappointment. The service, the food, the petty costs (service fee abound) and the never ending sales pitches to sell more and more all contribute to that disappointment. Not once did anyone ask or hint at our celebration. Even though I filled out the online check in questionnaire and gave that information.

We boarded in Barcelona. The airline, Air France lost our luggage. Not Costa's fault but their handling after gave us an indication of the lack of service to be expected. The airline got our baggage to the ship before sailing, however, Costa personnel did not get the word or coordinate the quick processing of our luggage to us. At about 2030 hours, We received a note advising us to notify reception about our luggage. Of coarse we made our way to reception amazed it had really arrived. We were told the luggage had arrived to the port but the ship already left so we will get it the next day in Valencia. Couldn't that be written on the note? Why make us come all the way to the desk, wait in the never ending line and then be told sorry it's at the dock but not on the ship.

Then, several hours later, to our amazement we were woken up by a call at 2330 hours informing us our luggage had made it onto the ship after all and we could come once again to reception get it. REALLY???? The bags couldn't be delivered to us? I insisted they be delivered and they were. Thank you for that ounce of forced hospitality. I'm waiting for the service fee.

The direction as to services and explanation of the ship is very limited. We walked on the ship and there was NO ONE to help us find our way. We were on our own. This is a cruises right? I paid money to be here and I am on vacation. I'm confused. Because it felt like military service. Every man for himsellf.

So we make our way to the room, still encouraged and excited for our vacation to begin and be memory filled. Our room is spacious with a king sized bed. Every day items often found in a hotel room are sparse. We have one bottle of water, which a note advises will cost 2.95 if we consume it. We have one small bar of soap and liquid shower gel which also Is the hair shampoo and towels ( 2 hand towels and two bath towels) THATS IT!!!

A book with room service directions and a slip of paper with bar items are on the counter. On the slip of paper lists drinks to order, including soda, water etc. One of the items listed is 6 sodas for 2.95. WOW sounds good, oh no too good to be true. I called room service which typically takes 10 or more minutes to answer, and asked for the soda. No it's 2.95 per soda. REALLY? Since I purchased a drink package (at 29 euros per day, 400 total for both of us) I could get unlimited drinks at the bar and restaurants but not in my room, not even water. So I go to the bar and ask for a bottle of water, no sorry I can only give you a glass of water. I want a bottle of water for my room, sorry can't do it. I guess when I want water, I go to the bar ask for a glass and carry it back to my room. What if I need two, three for the entire night?

In between the shower over flowing and flooding the bathroom and the smoke smell in our room, I tried to purchase aspirin. No aspirins in the sundry store of course, that would be too easy. The clerk in the store told me I could get it at the pharmacy, but advised me to check in with hospitality first. Hospitality tells me NO sorry there is no pharmacy you have to go see the doctor (at a cost of 62 euros) before you can buy aspirin!!!!!

My husband has allergies and his allergies were irritated by the smoke smells in the room. This persisted throughout the cruise. It felt as if someone was smoking in their room and the smoke was permeating through the vent system. One morning I could smell a cigar, the next I could smell just cigarette smoke. My husband developed a sore throat and congestion to the point he could not function and needed to rest due to the allergies. Needless to say this really caused a damper for our good time.

On our sea day I booked a couples massage. We received a "special" announcement that was for a one day thermal pass for 70 euro. No massage included but you could visit the sauna rooms, the jacuzzi and quiet lounge rooms at the spa all day if you chose. But for the 70 euros you can't have a robe, just towels. The robes are for guests that pay for the week long thermal pass. Of course a robe would be way too much to expect! The massage was another 110 euros each. Ok.. Kind of expensive but we are on vacation right? I booked it.

At the massage, the technician asked for an in depth medical history and gave a lengthy explanation of services, which seemed to cut into my massage time quit a bit. Finally the massage begins and the technician asks if I want hot stones, yes of course. Later I find out that is 30 euros more!!! 60 for two! Couldn't that have been explained in the lengthy introduction session? After the message the technician is selling products she is sure I need adding up to 250 more! My husband had his own sales pitch of products and more message treatments for an additional 150 euros. I felt played and manipulated! I said no thank you but she continued to try and sell me.

On our way out I was informed our total was 140 euro each for one massage that lasted maybe 50 minutes, but advertised as 75 minutes. The technician told me she advised me of the extra cost at the time, I contested but of coarse she won. They have my card or maybe it's their credit card temporarily!

Our next hurdle were the excursions. Our tickets were not delivered and we had no direction as to where to meet or times. We figured it out, thank God for our Amazing Race mind set! Our second excursion in Myorca was cancelled due to weather but we were able to take a shuttle to the port for 10 euros each.

Oh yes I cannot forget the 18 euro per day hotel service fee, which when I asked was for general services we receive on the ship. Really, what exactly does the cruise fee pay for? I'm getting such fantastic service I can easily feel good about paying even more!!!

This is probably the biggest disappointment overall that I have. Not only do I feel I have been nickel and dimmed for every petty expense and charged extra even for water but the staff is not really very friendly or nice!

The food is ok and generally always slightly warm. On several dinners the food choices were good and the food very tasty. However, the table server is not plugged in and cannot care less about the people he is serving. On a cruise, my past experience has been the wait staff gets to know the guests by being friendly and being involved. This server is none of those things. He is only concerned with getting the order and bringing the food. Once at dinner, I asked to order a drink before dinner and our server ignored me. My feeling is the waiter simply does not have time to engage since he has too many tables to wait on. I could see the pebbles of sweat on his brow as he tried to rush to serve everyone.

The slotted 2 hours is not enough time for dinner. Each night I found we were rushed out for the later dinner service. This wouldn't be a problem if their was a quiet place to converse if that's what you wanted. There is literally no quiet place on this ship other than dinner, your room or the library. It is so packed with people, loud music I felt anxious to get off the ship for some tranquility and peace.

The staff was not visibly friendly or even showed a smile. On several occasions I asked a question and received a forced answer from a unconcerned unemotional person. A couple of times the staff person was short and appeared irritated. At no time during this cruise did a staff person go over and above to help me or try and make my experience extra special. Often when I walked the deck a staff person did not even look at me or say hello. This was a routine experience.

I paid almost 29 euros per day for drinks as did my husband. Our bill reflected a 409.27 total charge. 53.38 of service fees. Each time I went to the bar to order a drink I was told I couldn't have the drink I wanted because it wasn't on my package. It was on the package and I had to show the bar staff proof.

Out of frustration I decided I would order a simpler drink just so I wouldn't have the stress. I ordered two rum and cokes. I asked for one to be with Diet Coke. The bartender gave me two sodas no rum. I asked for the rum and he poured rum in a third glass and gave it to me to mix myself. This happened on May 14 at the pool bar. Maybe there is video surveillance of the transaction. He was clearly annoyed with me and did not think to apologize for his mistake but instead got upset with me. I'm sorry for wanting a drink after spending 200 dollars for a drink package.

The announcements on board were in Italian and English, however I could not really understand the English version. This was true for the gala night extravaganza as well. The lady with the microphone spoke very fast and loud making her voice muffled under the loud speaker. Very hard to understand combined with her heavy Italian accent. I got every fourth word. I guess they were introducing the staff, not sure.

Our excursion in Valencia was good, our tour guild was knowledgable and fun. His explanations seemed to be very long in Italian and quit a bit shorter in English. Not sure we got the entire explanation or not. It rained heavily the day we toured Valencia, which made the tour hard. I would liked the guild to think about spending more time on inside locations but this was almost entirely outside. We did not go into any of the historical sites on the tour. We only walked by. We visited a market that was very interesting and fun but we only stayed 15 minutes. All and all I would give this excursion a 5 out of 10. The Albuferra portion was ok, not super interesting or worth all the travel. More time in Valencia market would have been great. Also we ate lunch st 1430 which is late for us. Nacho explained this was normal lunch time for him. Several people asked him when lunch was but he pressed on for the tour essentially ignoring repeats to stop for lunch.

Our Mallorca excursion was cancelled, but we never received a notice. We didn't even have our tickets yet so we didn't know times or any information.

Information sharing and direction was a problem on this ship. After finding our room, we expected the customary safety drill. Did not happen. Later the next day we received a notice advising we failed to attend the drill. WHAT DRILL? The note advised us to read the back of the door for safety tips and watch the video. No direction as to where to watch this video but we assumed on the tv in the room. No no no, it's not there or at least we couldn't find it. We still don't know where to watch the video.

Internet access? We purchased two packages, one for me and one for my husband at 25 euros each. The package gives us 250mg each to use. After three days of use without logging off our usage was used. We learned later we needed to log out each time so the usage would not be consumed. How can you use internet data when you are not on the Internet? I spoke to a staff member about this and other issued and she told me she was sorry but it is explained in the brochure and I needed to read it. We obtained the Internet service via the device online not on a brochure. There was no mention of logging off each time. Later in the cruise I purchased another 25 dollars worth of service. At 211 MB the service stopped and would not allow me on the Internet. Go to hospitality for answers. have visited this desk so many times I feel I should be bringing gifts, I know these clerks way too well. They, however do not show any affiliation toward seeing me!

Apparently our Palermo excursion was cancelled, no one notified us or gave us a chance to join another excursion. Currently I am sitting waiting for the tour office to open at 0900. The same time the ship arrives at the port. This is what I like to do on vacation, wait for service. I sure hope the excursion is not at 9am. When the tour office opened she told me I could join another excursion. How could I do that they began when the tour office opened? The clerk concealed my point.

As I walked on deck this morning, hoping to see views of Palermo, the deck, tables and chairs were wet. I asked a maintenance person for a towel to dry the chair I wanted to sit and drink my coffee at. He was confused but did ask another attendant for a towel. This guy was even more confused. There seemed to be a language barrier but they figured out what I needed. Finally a man in a naval uniform came to us and told me I could go get a napkin and dry it myself. REALLY? I'm feeling very special on this cruise!!!!

May 12. At the Topkapi bar, Gabriel served us when I asked for a Crown and diet. Immediately he looked at my card and said no it's not covered, when in fact it was. This is the third time Gabriel has given me a hard time with ordering drinks. Gabriel asked an associate and he too said no it wasn't covered. I had to show them on the menu where it was covered.

I will never book a cruise on Costa Cruise Line again and I will at every opportunity give a poor review when asked my thoughts about this cruise. I booked this. Raise through Marriott and you can be sure I will send this review to them.
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Cabin Review

Outside Classic
Cabin EC 1383
Cabin smelled of smoke otherwise clean and comfortable.
Rigoletto Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins