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Costa Magica Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
215 Reviews

More like MagiCANT than Magica!!!

Costa Magica Cruise Review by kookie72

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2015
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Premium

Oh goodness - where to begin. The ship was called the Costa Magica - but it SHOULD have been named the Costa MagiCANT. They just can't do anything - full stop. Let's go through this 'magical' experience one issue at a time.


The ship is old, dated, dirty, and in need of a serious overhaul. And when I say serious, I mean SERIOUS. The decor is like something out of my grandmother's sitting room in the early 80's. Common area carpets were dirty and worn as was most of the seating in the common areas. Don't even get me started on the poolside areas. Deck chairs have seen better days. Most of the deck chairs were covered in soot. Yes - that's right - soot. No matter where you were on the ship, soot would get on to the deck chairs - especially those on the upper decks. They were covered in the stuff. So of course you needed more than one towel to make sure you didn't get soot on yourself when you sat on the deck chair. Now, most cruise lines don't have enough deck chairs for the amount of guests on the ship. That's always an issue even for the best lines in the world - so you can imagine what it was like for a cruise line of Costa standard - (read - no standard at all). Something Costa needs to work on is not allowing people to just put towels on deck chairs at 08:00 and then not return to the deck chair until 15:00. That really needs to be policed better. The decks were always full of rubbish (if I could post photos here I would). One of the toilet areas had a faecal smear on it which we reported on day 2 of the cruise. On day 11 - it was still there. We took photos to prove it. Just disgusting.


Equally dated, drab and in need of refurb. Old towels with holes in them, torn bedding, gaping tears in the balcony curtains. When we complained to our room attendant, all he did was cut the curtain at the point of the tear so the curtain was now 3-4 inches shorter from the side of the wall then it should have been.


Oh heavens me - where to begin with dining. The buffet was a free-for-all. I've been on many many cruises before across a few different lines and I've never seen anything like this before. It reminded me of a trough at feeding time. Imagine queuing up at the pizza counter to get a slice or two of pizza for lunch, only to have one guy rock up, walk in front of the 40 odd people waiting in the queue, grab an ENTIRE tray of pizza (approx. 12-15 slices) and then leave. All under the watchful eye of the food and beverage manager and the assistant F&B mgr. All these two were good for was berating their staff in front of passengers. I saw the F&B manager berate a junior crew member one day because the costa emblem on his little hat wasn't quite at the right angle that he wanted it to be. What an absolute tosser he was. You don't treat people that way. I know - I used to work on cruise ships and if a manager had done that in front of passengers, HE would have to answer to the captain. It's just not done. Very poor behaviour.

Dinner was even worse. When we booked we were given the option of an early or late seating. We were told that we could eat at either 18:00 or at 20:30 – so we chose the late seating as always. However when we arrived for our 20:30 seating it was actually an 20:45 seating and by the time we got our first course it was closer to 21:30. Let’s just say that when we finished with our meal it was pretty much midnight. The wait staff couldn’t be less excited to be there. I know – I get it – it’s a tough gig. Like I said, I worked on cruise ships. Always having to put a smile on your face and be jovial can take a lot out of you. But you’re in the hospitality industry – you need to be hospitable. I suspect most of the crew were nearing the end of some very long contracts – 9 or 12 months I believe – and I would imagine that’s why most of them were exhausted. Still – this wasn’t about that. The majority of the crew just had zero personality. We met one bar waitress who was hilarious and a true gem, one young man who worked in one of the shops (really funny guy & always jokey & smiley), one waiter in the wine bar, and one of the European hostesses. That was it. Those people were the only good crew out of the whole bunch.

We had such bad experiences with the breakfast buffet that we decided to get breakfast in our cabin every day. This was a free service for us because we had the upgraded premium cabin package so we could do that. Boy oh boy did we ever take advantage of that!! However, even that they couldn’t get right. By about day 6 we started to affectionately refer to it as Breakfast Roulette. Not one single time did we get what we asked for – not once. We got most things that we checked off – but never did we get everything. I could understand if I was phoning down to order it and they just didn’t understand because of a language barrier, but I was ticking boxes on a form. That’s it. Box ticking. How can you get that wrong EVERY morning for about 8-10 mornings!! SERIOUSLY!!!

Our dining experiences left much to be desired. Costa siphons the so-called ‘free’ water on board. They have water machines everywhere but most of them are either turned off or pour water out at a trickle. I’m serious when I say trickle. We took video of it because we knew no one would believe us. Costa want you to buy their bottles of water. Rubbish!! I paid for the ultimate drinks package and you wouldn’t believe it but it doesn’t include water!!!! Even though it says it does!!


What entertainment??? If you speak fluent Italian – great – you’ll be fine. If you don’t, forget it because none of the shows (bar one – which was a musical) were in Italian. All of the activities on board – again in Italian. Even the port excursion seminars/talks – you guessed it – Italian. Oh and most of the announcements were in Italian only as well. It came down to me complaining one day about what the on-board announcement was and the front desk told me “nothing for you to worry about – it’s for the Italian guests only. It’s about the next port”. Oh – ok, so because I don’t speak Italian, you didn’t think I would need to know about the next port? Thanks Costa – that’s some fine logic that is.

Every day they put out a diary of what’s happening the next day. This was so un-imaginative that we nicknamed it the “Diary el Board-o”. Yup – BOARING!!! Who the heck wants to do 2 hours of aerobics on the pool deck in the Med??? Seriously! I will go to the gym if I want to do that!! Don’t annoy everyone else around you by doing 2 hours of irritating techno aerobics poolside EVERY SINGLE DAY!!


See my comments on Dining. But just to add – our cabin attendant couldn’t be more of a robot. No personality, no communication, nothing. Not a thing. Most nights he even forgot to leave the diary in our room for the next day. And when he did remember, he left the wrong language one. So of course I had to go and collect one from the front desk. He never acknowledged us or said hello, good morning, thank you – nothing. Just couldn’t care less.


We didn’t do any of the paid excursions – we never do. We like to experience places on our own without being manoeuvred around like a herd of cattle. Having said that though – all of the ports were fab except one. Casablanca. That was horrible. We had this idea in our heads of what it would be like based on the film – a very romanticised view. We probably should have done an excursion here because the port that the ship docks in, is an active, 24hr shipping port. It’s not a cruise port. It’s a shipping port. Complete with cranes going 24 hrs a day – lots of dust, grime and dirt being kicked up around the ship, etc., etc. Why dock here as a cruise ship when there are so many other ports you can dock at in Morocco??? Oh wait, I know – because Costa a cheap that’s why!! Cheap cheap cheap!!! This was the worst place to do an overnight docking. Absolutely the worst. We should have figured it out when no other cruise ship was docked anywhere near us or overnight. Atrocious!!

Never in my life would I ever use Costa again. Never. I wouldn’t recommend them even if they paid me to.

kookie72's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Premium
Cabin BP 8331

Equally dated, drab and in need of refurb. Old towels with holes in them, torn bedding, gaping tears in the balcony curtains. When we complained to our room attendant, all he did was cut the curtain at the point of the tear so the curtain was now 3-4 inches shorter from the side of the wall then it should have been.

Average in size - so not an issue there. It had a safe which was good to have and enough space to sit (sofa) with a table. The balcony was probably the nicest part of the cabin and ship. Although irritatingly they allow passengers to smoke on the balcony so had to smell the cigarette smoke from the neighbouring cabins.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


I would happily return to Cadiz again and again and again. So beautiful, clean and gorgeous. The architecture, the streets, the people and the food were unforgettable. Cadiz wants their tourists to know where they're going so they have marked all through the old town, four different coloured routes on the pavements. You just choose which colour route you want to do depending on what you'd like to see and just follow that colour all through town. Perfect!!


Marseille is not the nicest place. We did go around to the fort which was really nice. Probably the only nice part of Marseille.


Hated it. Dirty, boring, nothing spectacular and the port is entirely too far from anything of any value.


Loved loved loved Tangier. The people were so nice and the city was gorgeous. Just what you would expect from a city in Morocco. Cobbled and narrow streets, souks, bazaars, glorious food!!! Loved it!!

We didn't do any of the excursions offered for Tangier because we wanted to experience it on our own. And it's a good thing too because we noticed that the tour groups were going around to the same parts of the city we were.


Really enjoyed Lisbon. Got to see some amazing places in Lisbon. Again no excursions because we wanted to see it for ourselves.

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