Overall a very good cruise with tending to excellence for me as a single passenger. Boarding was a bit delayed, because of some officials for boarder control hadn’t been in time, but however I was onboard within 35 minutes from official start of boarding. Costa succeeded to get me onboard within 20 min on an earlier cruise elsewhere, but for me the second fast boarding ever anyway. As I didn’t stay in my cabin I don’t know exactly when my luggage arrived, but for sure not more than two hours after my boarding.
The ship is a huge one with a capacity of about 3800 passengers. But although the MDR was pretty full most evenings I hadn’t the impression of an overcrowded ship. There are way enough facilities to find a spot for everybody, only that passengers are reserving “their” deckchairs before breakfast with their towels is ongoing, although Costa forbids it expressively. General the service is great, especially in restaurants and bars. How can it be that some people in bars, serving hundreds or thousands guests a day, remember already the second day your name and the drink you had the day before? By the way: be sure that you have a drinking package that suits your needs, otherwise you’ll pay a fortune instead of a moderate price for a package.
I got the first seating for dinner, but my request to change to the late seating was honoured the next day. The meals were in most cases delicious Italian kitchen, completed by some local courses. Nearly everything was done between very well prepared and just perfect - just two courses disappointed me personally - on a cruise of three weeks. Generally Costa could do something with the cheese offered with dinner. The cheese itself varied daily and I enjoyed it, but it was every evening “cheese with dried fruit” and dried fruit were three weeks just raisins. Overall I really enjoyed the meals offered and at home I know more restaurants I dislike than those I’d recommend to you.
The excursions I did with Costa were as mostly in the industry: well-prepared, all as promised, but without the special touch. I only use ship excursions if there is no alternative locally - with local providers or on my own. As usual ship excursions were much more expensive than locals were. The opportunity to arrange things on my own wasn’t available in the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Tenerife and for single passengers in Barbados. Absolute the best excursion during this cruise I did with an independent operator on Martinique, who is for me personally on a very good second place of all tour guides ever (Christelle from Karambole tours). Indeed Costa cancels tours if there aren’t enough participants, it happened to me twice. Once without any acceptable alternative for me, the second time I was able just to change the language and I got my excursion. The only very cheap offer I booked with Costa was an excursion from Marseille to Avignon on my disembarkation day. Costa generally offers excursions on disembarkation days (sometimes with flight time limits e.g.). My online booking has been accepted and I was happy to fill the gap between arrival in Marseille and my hotel check-in. I went to hospitality service to ask about my luggage tags and they wanted to know the exact excursion times for giving me new tags and as I didn’t know they sent me to the excursion desk. There I met the only arrogant staff member aboard who first did a phone call in Italian language (which I don’t understand), cancelled my ticket and thereafter (!) told me that it is forbidden (!) for me (!!!) to book that excursion. I returned to the excursion desk, wrote down her name and reported her to Costa as such a behaviour can ruin the name of an entire cruise line. I can handle a mistake if a booking is accepted and it turns out to be impossible by some reasons, but arrogance of service staff I just don’t tolerate. Because of her behaviour excursions got the lowest rating of all I gave for this cruise. But for the rest I recognise that she is just one member of a crew of 1500 and not representing all of the Costa Favolosa staff.
Entertainment is various, I think everybody can find something suitable. The problem of the many languages spoken onboard is solved by concentrating on music and artistic entertainment. Readings on one topic are done in one lounge a couple times a day, but in always in different languages. Great if you are fit in languages, when I missed something I had the opportunity to listen later in another language. The staff is able to communicate in English and at least one other language - although an Italian vessel the many nationalities of the staff is usually talking to each other generally in English. For every language there is one hostess you can visit daily at scheduled times or during information events.
The Favolosa is a six-year-old ship without any notable tear and wear, undergoing works permanently I noticed, but didn’t mean any hinder to me. Thousands of people course a lot of dirt, but when there was anything visible at all it was cleaned up in no time, the house keeping was really very alert, some cleaning was going on all the time. I found one small technical problem in my cabin (from my own job I know these things just happen), called the reception and left my cabin. It was solved within half an hour. I noticed it myself when returning to my cabin, but also had a notice in my letterbox and was contacted by phone with another time excuses for the inconvenience. My cruise was at the very end of the winter season and a large part of the staff was going home one day after I left the Favolosa. But except the one exception mentioned before everybody was extremely friendly, helpful and service orientated, greeting with a smile and nobody seemed to be overworked after months of just working.
Overall: I really enjoyed and I’d do it again!
My cabin was a classic inside at the end of the ship. Size and layout as promised, well maintained and enough room for me - even for three weeks. Kept spotless clean. The situation at the very end didn’t mean any unusual noise or vibrations by machines or screws, I slept very well. I just heard some typical hydraulic sounds just in those times as pilots came aboard or left, might be I was very close to their entrance - absolutely nothing not to use this cabin.
Wonderful tour accorss the island, seen something of the capital Basseterre, explored Romney Manor, was on Brinstone Hill with the monkeys, seen the spectacular views and had at the very end still the opportunity to get into the sea. Arrangement of sights was selected very well and the driver was both competent and very friendly. Must surprised that the tour took place although I was the only guest who showed-up. If you are in St. Kitts: do this tour!View All 293 Island tour Reviews
Swimming with the Dolphins was amazing! These intelligent animals taught us in a group of three with a little help of a trainer how to behave in water and even how to get lifted out. Very joyful interaction just as long the dolphins wanted - one had enough and went swimming a while. Very expensive excursion, but understandable if related to the effort made. Not understandable were the ridiculous prices for the pictures taken and the pushy vendors (own cameras were not allowed, as they mustn’t get wet - even my underwater camera mustn’t).View All undefined undefined Reviews
Professional done sightseeing to the tourist spots on the island with some time on the beach. Absolutely a good choice for getting an overview and first impression of Sint Maarten. Otherwise not these cultural and natural highlights as on other islands, but this is naturally not the fault of Bernard’s Tours. So the operator is highly recommended, but the island not that much.View All 437 Island Tour Reviews
We were shown the most important highlights of the island, had breathtaking views in the National Park, seen ruins left by the British in an unbelievable environment as well as Nelson’s Dockyard. Further a stop at a sandy beach. We had a good driver, at the sights some time to explore, as far this can be done in such a fully packed day. I just can recommend Scenic Tours Antigua.View All 194 Island Tour Reviews
Christelle from Karambole Tours is a terrific guide. Far the best on this cruise and for my personal impression second best tour guide ever. Christelle showed us her island in a very special way - she drove us to the highlights of Martinique, explained extremely well and offered at every stop some regional specialities to taste. From the port we drove through Fort-de-France and upwards to a copy of the church Sacre Coeur in Paris with breathtaking views over the island capital and the sea, through villages and rain forests with not only a stop at a lovely waterfall, further to Saint Pierre, where she guided us through. Further to a rum distillery, a beach and back to Fort-de-France. Nobody offered me such a deep insight into any other Caribbean island’s past and today as Christelle did. She deserves better than an ordinary “excellent” vote.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Originally booked with Spencer Ambrose, but Spencer had only one guest and so he handed me over to another operator who did the same tour.
We went by speedboat along the shoreline of St. Lucia along Marigot Bay to the Pitons, snorkelled in the small bay between them, before we departed for Soufriere to leave the boat. By minibus (and one person more than seats) we started to the mud baths, where we had enough time to get muddy and to relax in the hot water. Next stop was to bath under a waterfall, before we got a local meal. Little walk through the town of Soufriere and back to the ship by speedboat again. Not really well organised for the European in me, but friendly people and seen what I wanted. Neither average, nor very good, let's say good.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This booking was a compromise for me, as I wanted to see something of the island and to snorkel with turtles. There was no combination offered with ordinary sightseeing and snorkelling and local operators would only accept a booking for a joint tour if I booked for two.
Seen some beauty of Barbados, but together with an Italian group that was scared that an off-road tour goes off-road. I am not sure whether the screaming men were an entertainment idea of Costa? Okay, we stopped on a hilltop, walked a bit on a scenic beach and went back to Bridgetown to the second part of the tour: the turtles. With a catamaran we went out to the bay where the turtles are and indeed I’ve seen some, one was quite a while swimming below me. Very short time only, further for a short break at the beach and the catamaran went back to its base. Yes, the tour contained what promised, but no, I wouldn’t do it again.View All undefined undefined Reviews
I changed the language of this tour as my first booking was cancelled by Costa - not enough participants. But also this tour has not been carried out as booked, the cable car on the Teide didn’t go because of to much wind. This point has been replaced with a stop in Puerto de la Cruz and a part of the price has been refunded. So we went up to the heart of the island, had a short stop at the cable car station, went further through the National Park and after lunch down to the beach resort before we returned to the Favolosa. The guide did a good job and the landscape was just amazing. Too bad that the cable car didn’t run, but of course this is beyond the influence of any operator.View All undefined undefined Reviews