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We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on Cruise Critic and elsewhere because of the itinerary and because we previously had defied negative reviews of MSC and had a very positive experience with them. Embarkation was at Savona and was very badly organised. We waited for over an hour sitting around in a building in the port along with a huge crowd of other passengers before being allowed to board. Far less efficient than our experiences with Princess, Norwegian, MSC and Royal Caribbean. We had booked a suite and this gave us priority in boarding and when we were taken to our cabin we were very pleased with the accommodation. The quality of the accommodation was the most positive aspect of the cruise. However, when we looked around for the coffee machine which had been promised in the brochure and asked where it was we were told that the coffee machines had not been delivered and would not be available. Another disappointment was that our “private butler” turned out to be just another cabin steward serving a whole number of suites. Also, our daily bowl of fresh fruit was seldom really fresh with wrinkled peaches and plums and apples with rotten brown blemishes on them. The food in our private dining area was the biggest single disappointment. The dishes were poorly executed and over-elaborate Italian cuisine which were mostly tasteless and bland. Worst of all was that almost everything arrived at our table lukewarm or cold. One day we had fish with steakhouse fries which were actually cold ! Uneatable. Nothing tasted freshly made by the time it hit our table. This is the first cruise where we actually sent dishes back because they were so bad. Compounding this was the slow and disorganised service in the dining area. The waiters seemed to be badly trained and worked with no sense of urgency or commitment. Since one of the things we usually most enjoy on a cruise is the food, we were very disappointed. Also tea or coffee is available at no extra charge in the dining rooms only with breakfast, with lunch and dinner it is charged to your account. Another major disappointment was the lack of a decent day-time entertainment programme. There were no movies in the theatre, few interesting instruction sessions and little worthwhile music. The shows in the evening were OK. The on-board shops are the least interesting of any cruise we have been on – only two shops and none which sold pharmacy items such as asprin, toothpaste, sun tan oil etc. On the third last day of our voyage the toilets on our deck (I don’t know about other decks) would not flush. This was repaired but recurred. You can imagine the smells that permeated the cabins. Now, a warning to English-speaking cruisers. The language on this ship is Italian. We had pre-booked one excursion and planned to book others as we went along. However, the booked excursion with an English commentary was cancelled because, it turned out, we were the only English speakers among the whole of 3,000+ passengers. Rather than miss the excursion (to Avignon) we went along with the Italian language guide but it was painful not understanding the commentary. We did not go on any other excursions because none was available in English. Also, if you hate cigarette smoke as much as I do, find another cruise line. Smoke is everywhere even though smokers are supposed to indulge only in designated areas and on cabin balconies. Our cruise also had a number of families with young babies which cried a lot and on a couple of occasions woke us up at night. Also there were a lot of young children who were allowed to charge around the dining areas, disturbing diners. The only positives on the cruise were the quality of our cabin accommodation and the WiFi which was charged by size of download rather time spent online. Would I cruise with Costa again ? Definitely not.

Disappointing

Costa Magica Cruise Review by Chuckm31

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We went on an 11-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, including Tenerife and Madeira, in June 2016. This was our sixteenth cruise, our first on a Costa ship. We decided to sail with Costa despite the mostly negative reviews on Cruise Critic and elsewhere because of the itinerary and because we previously had defied negative reviews of MSC and had a very positive experience with them.

Embarkation was at Savona and was very badly organised. We waited for over an hour sitting around in a building in the port along with a huge crowd of other passengers before being allowed to board. Far less efficient than our experiences with Princess, Norwegian, MSC and Royal Caribbean.

We had booked a suite and this gave us priority in boarding and when we were taken to our cabin we were very pleased with the accommodation. The quality of the accommodation was the most positive aspect of the cruise. However, when we looked around for the coffee machine which had been promised in the brochure and asked where it was we were told that the coffee machines had not been delivered and would not be available. Another disappointment was that our “private butler” turned out to be just another cabin steward serving a whole number of suites. Also, our daily bowl of fresh fruit was seldom really fresh with wrinkled peaches and plums and apples with rotten brown blemishes on them.

The food in our private dining area was the biggest single disappointment. The dishes were poorly executed and over-elaborate Italian cuisine which were mostly tasteless and bland. Worst of all was that almost everything arrived at our table lukewarm or cold. One day we had fish with steakhouse fries which were actually cold ! Uneatable. Nothing tasted freshly made by the time it hit our table. This is the first cruise where we actually sent dishes back because they were so bad. Compounding this was the slow and disorganised service in the dining area. The waiters seemed to be badly trained and worked with no sense of urgency or commitment. Since one of the things we usually most enjoy on a cruise is the food, we were very disappointed. Also tea or coffee is available at no extra charge in the dining rooms only with breakfast, with lunch and dinner it is charged to your account.

Another major disappointment was the lack of a decent day-time entertainment programme. There were no movies in the theatre, few interesting instruction sessions and little worthwhile music. The shows in the evening were OK. The on-board shops are the least interesting of any cruise we have been on – only two shops and none which sold pharmacy items such as asprin, toothpaste, sun tan oil etc.

On the third last day of our voyage the toilets on our deck (I don’t know about other decks) would not flush. This was repaired but recurred. You can imagine the smells that permeated the cabins.

Now, a warning to English-speaking cruisers. The language on this ship is Italian. We had pre-booked one excursion and planned to book others as we went along. However, the booked excursion with an English commentary was cancelled because, it turned out, we were the only English speakers among the whole of 3,000+ passengers. Rather than miss the excursion (to Avignon) we went along with the Italian language guide but it was painful not understanding the commentary. We did not go on any other excursions because none was available in English. Also, if you hate cigarette smoke as much as I do, find another cruise line. Smoke is everywhere even though smokers are supposed to indulge only in designated areas and on cabin balconies.

Our cruise also had a number of families with young babies which cried a lot and on a couple of occasions woke us up at night. Also there were a lot of young children who were allowed to charge around the dining areas, disturbing diners.

The only positives on the cruise were the quality of our cabin accommodation and the WiFi which was charged by size of download rather time spent online.

Would I cruise with Costa again ? Definitely not.
Chuckm31’s Full Rating Summary
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