We booked this cruise for a wedding anniversary.
6 months in advance we booked the cruise. On advise of Neckermann Cruises we also booked all our excursions on line a few days later, what gave us on some excursions discounts up to 35%. We choose English for all excursions.
When arriving it was well organized and we got on board: impressive and a very nice clean cabin with balcony that was much bigger than we expected: a big hotel room.
On the bed there was a latter that we had to go to the excursion desk.
On our last excursion in Bergen there was no English available and we couldn't even take the same in another Language. They cancelled this excursion and we had to book an new excursion.
2 days later we received again a letter for a problem with an excursion on which we had initially a reduction of 22%.. English was not available but we could change it to French.
We had to sign a paper but that was at full price. Luckily I had print of all our excursion with the price we paid with me. I told them that I wanted at least the same deduction as the original one. Apparently that was impossible to book in their system !!! After some discussion we had a price that was only a few euro more expensive then the original one.
We felt that this wouldn't be the last excursion that would be cancelled so we went to the hospitality desk and explained the problem. They called the excursion responsible and told he that it was normal they cancelled the initial excursion (with price discount) and booked a new one (without price discount). We said we did not agree because WE made no error. Reaction: If we didn't accept their proposal they would cancel ALL our excursions. THAT WAS A THREAT !!!
When we received again a letter that the excursion in English was cancelled we said that we would not join another non-English speaking excursion. Their reaction: we booked it so we had to do another excursion. After some words they cancelled the excursion.
The last day -1 of the cruise on board there was a meeting for English speaking people on the procedure with luggage on how to leave the ship. There were about 20! people.
The Costa guide asked as a first question if we were all satisfied. I think she regrets that asked that question: After about 10 minutes she stopped the negative answers on her question (we said nothing) and she told us not to judge the cruise based on the excursions...
Apparently there was on the first day a welcome meeting in English, that no-one present was aware of but that we have seen for other languages when we passed through the saloons. They had forgotten to notify the +/- 100 English speaking passengers on board.
In that welcome meeting they would ask that all english speaking people would only choose the same 1 excursion per day, because of lack of English speaking people. INCREDIBLE!
When we were on excursions with multiple languages on 1 bus/boat they first spoke the other langauge. The English speaking heard something like: The building that was on your right was... ) = Always to late. Another example was in Bergen where the guide did an explanation in French in a street. She told them they could walk around an to be back in 20 minutes. Then she explained it in English some 15 minutes and we could walk around and had to be back in... 5 minutes.
It was always like that... Annoying.
On board the performers were really Italian and Spanish oriented: They sung many Italian songs unknown for us while the Italians were having the time of their life.
The HI-5 Band was the only band that played international known songs all the time.
The saloon where they played was of course always overcrowded. These was our favorite band of course.
The other performers was singing there texts in phonetically English! It often looked like a Karaoke show...
The buffets and a la carte restaurant were very satisfying.
!!! We strongly advise not to book this cruise if you are not Italian, Spanish, French or German speaking !!!
Very nice and clean.