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Costa neoRomantica Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
63 Reviews

A budget cruiseship which in the end is easily more expensive then a luxury line

Costa neoRomantica Cruise Review by Ronald-NL

25 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2016
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: undefined

After having made many cruises with mid-class (like Princess, Celebrity) and luxury cruise lines (e.g. Oceania) we wanted to investigate the difference between those cruise lines and Costa, which is frequently offering cruises for very attractive prices.

As we had already booked an Oceania cruise for later this summer, we accepted a cheap last minute offer for the Costa NeoRomantica cruise tot he Norwegian fjords (€700 in the cheapest cabin), a.o. to be able to make this investigation.

We had read beforehand various reviews on CruiseCritic and hence were prepared for a somewhat different experience then with the other abovementioned cruise line companies.

We must say that the ship NeoRomantica itself was much nicer then expected, and certainly not attractive then ships of other cruiselines of a comparable size.

It was just a pity that with the latest renovation the theatre had been removed to make space for a wellness area.

The cabins are vary spacious and well equipped (although without bathrobes), and the available inside public areas is ample enough even in cool weather situations.

Boarding and debarkation was very smooth and efficient.


(a luxury cruise line specially known for it’s exquisite food)


Last minute cruiseprice = €700 p.p. for 9 nights in the cheapest cabin.

Effective real additional costs for service fee + a modest amount of non-alcoholic drinks (1 specialty coffee, 1 non alcoholic drink + 0,5 bottle of mineral water a day): € 170.

The total cost (without excursions) thereby comes to € 97 p.p per night

Crew to Passengers ratio: 650/1700 = 38%


Pseudo last minute cruiseprice (4 month before embarcation) = €1575 p.p. for 12 nights in cheapest cabin: € 131 per night all-in.

Included in this price:

  • $400 board credit (repeater rebate + travel agent offer) which covers the service


  • limitless non alcoholic drinks + specialty Illy coffees/teas

  • free WiFi

  • a complimentary visit to a specialty restaurant every 3 nights (value of appx €30:

    €10 per night)

  • a complimentary full day shore excursion every 3 nights (which I value at € 50:

    €17 per night. List value is much higher but irrealistic)

Crew to Passengers ratio: 787/1250 = 63%

Deducting the value of the complimentary specialty restaurants + shore excursions, the daily rate comes to € 131-27 = € 104, €7 more then at Costa.


For a daily extra of € 7 p.p. one gets with Oceania next to free WiFi, limitless non alcoholic drinks and really exquisite food (e.g. including lobster, steaks, etc.; we experienced the quality on various previous cruises), much friendlier and quicker service: incomparable to Costa.

If a specific itinerary is offered by Costa as well as Oceania I would allways choose Oceania.

However, to get this all for this little extra, one has to be very alert on special offers, as the regular list prices of Oceania are very much higher.

Moreover one has to value the complimentary specialty restaurants and shore excursions. If you don’t care for those, Costa may be a good bargain.


Positive points:

  • Efficient boarding and debarkation

  • Very spacious and well equipped cabins (although without bathrobes)

  • Sufficient public areas (inside as well as on deck), inside even in cool weather situations

  • Linen towels in public restrooms (a luxury touch!)

  • Excellent Illy coffee (extra charge)

  • Offering of an area with popular classical music next tot he venues with popular music.

Weak points:

  • The penny pinching and high costs for extra's (like coffee during the day, better but still simple food, entry fee for aft deck, etc).

During over 30 trips with other cruise lines we never experienced that one had to pay extra for items in the main restaurant, pizza, etc.

  • Excessive drink prices, e.g. € 3,50 for a cappucino coffee, € 8 for a non alcoholic coctail

  • The offered food was OK but nothing more. There was never anything on the menu which I would have ordered in even a simple local restaurant.

  • Service is very slow, mainly because of a crew to passengers ratio which is to low.

  • Most (but luckily not all) of the service personnel worked like robots, not giving the feeling they were happy with their job. They appeared to be overstressed and underpaid.

  • Very noisy animateurs

  • Dinner times are not well coördinated with timing of shows

  • No real theatre: just lounge shows

  • Complimentary coffee and tea is only available during breakfast + afternoon tea.

  • Tap water is available during lunch at the buffet restaurant, but not automatically offered in the main restaurant.

  • Hygiene is not stressed overly strong.

  • Life enrichment lectures were only at midnight ....


The passengers are mainly Italian and French, with a smaller but still considerable group of Dutch and Germans (departure was from Amsterdam).

As far as we can tell almost no Americans, Englishman or Australians.

Because of differences in culture and mentality the south European and north European passengers groups practically don’t mix.

The whole atmosphere is more oriented towards the Italian style.

E.g. where on ships with mainly Anglo-Saxon passengerst there is usually the silence of the grave after the last show, that’s the moment where on the NeoRomantica the big parties start.

Announcements are always made in 5 languages: Italian, French, Spanish, English and German. Especially during the emergency exersize quite tiring.


In essence the cruise to the Norwegian fjord region was fine, although the time spend in small towns like Geiranger, Olden and Flam could have been slightly shorter as there is not much to do.

Better spend part of the afternoon cruising the fjord.

We didn’t use the shore excursions as these are excessively overpriced (as is the case with all cruiselines).

We always organise excursions ourselves, whenever possible by renting a car.

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Cabin Review

Cabin Inside 7029

Very spacious and well equipped cabins (although without bathrobes)

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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