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The Costa Magica is not the most modern ship in Costa's fleet (2004) but it's still in good condition and probably more importantly it's a happy ship. It has a ship's compliment of just over a thousand and carries just over two thousand passengers. All of the senior officers including the captain are Italian, while stewards, security, catering etc are provided by mainly Asian staff - all of whom are very friendly and helpful and probably underpaid by EU standards. Costa includes a surcharge in the price to cover tips which means that you don't have to tip the staff but a ten euro 'thank-you' to your steward or waiter at the end of the cruise will be very much appreciated unless you actually believe that the company accountant who dreamed up the surcharge also insisted that it was paid to the people who are looking after you. We took a Mediterranean 10 day cruise that took in Italy, France, Spain and the Canary Islands during late September which meant that there were very few school-age children on board. The passengers were predominantly Italian and French along with a few hundred German, Dutch & Spanish and from what I could make out possibly a dozen British and American. However all of the crew speak English so you can order a drink without having to consult a phrase book. We were lucky enough to have a cabin with a balcony. The cabin was clean, the bed was comfortable, there is a thermostat to control the temperature and there was a couch, desk and plenty of room to stow cases and hang clothing - although if you have a lot it might be worth bringing a few extra coat hangers with you.The shower/toilet was clean with plenty of hot water and towels were provided for the bathroom, and also for use with the on-deck sun loungers. The TV in the cabin broadcast 4 ship's channels giving information on where you are/where you are going together with timings, excursions, what's going on, stuff you can buy etc. The info being in all of the main languages including English.. The rest of the channels are mainly Italian, German and French but there is the ubiquitous BBC World should you need it but no other English language channels - But then you haven't come on a cruise to watch TV have you! Dining - I have to say that the food was much better than I had expected. We took breakfast in the self-service buffet-type restaurant where a good selection of both continental and cooked food was available. The restaurant tended to be very busy for breakfast and (I don't know why this is but it seems to be a world-wide occurrence) there will inevitably be an elderly passenger carrying a tray loaded with more food than they can possibly eat who either stops dead in their tracks in front of you and then looks around as if unsure as to why he/she is there or marches resolutely to the front of the queue to grab a coffee as if their very life depends on it whilst ignoring everyone else. Strangely this only seems to happen at breakfast time and seems to be universal rather than confined to any particular cruise line - if you are going to have some minor irritations it will be with your fellow travelers rather than the staff who seem to have been blessed with an additional 'niceness' gene. The main meal is in the evening at one of the restaurants on board where you will be allocated your seat for the length of the cruise and will keep the same waiter during your time on board. We had originally specified a table for two but on the first night were seated at a table with 4 other people. Having pointed out this out to the staff we were then given a table for two for the rest of the cruise. The evening meal consisted of six courses with a choice of starters, main course and desserts and I have to say that each meal was very good indeed and is the sort of thing that you would find in a good Italian restaurant rather than in a spaghetti house. In between breakfast and the evening meal, brunch, lunch, tea, supper, snacks etc can all be had from cakes to a burger to a roast dinner. When you buy your cruise there is the option to have wines, coffees, beers and spirits included in the price. This is called Brindiamo and it is well worth having unless you intend to drink only water, which of course you won't as you're on holiday. If you intend to drink cocktails every night rather than G&Ts or Barcardis or beers then there is another deal called Piu Gusto which costs a bit more. Also if you really, really must have lobster stuffed with cavier and sprinkled with saffron washed down with Champagne there is a select restaurant where you can pay extra to eat away from the rest of us un-washed masses. Smoking - Is allowed in designated areas and also on individual balconies. Stuff to do on board - Plenty of things for all tastes really, swimming in the (small) pools, open-air hot tubs, dance classes, zumba, shopping, sauna and gym, hairdressers and beauticians. In the evenings there are shows in the theater which range from good to mediocre (not surprising as they are catering to an audience that communicates in perhaps a dozen different languages). a number of bars ranging from dance-hall size to piano bar most of them with music, also a night club/disco, and a casino. Stuff to do ashore - Do your homework before taking an excursion as sometimes you will be better off making your own arrangements rather than paying Costa to do so. For example when we docked in Malaga we took an excursion to a beach which meant a 45 minute coach ride followed by 3 hours sunbathing then 45 minutes back. There was actually an equally good beach within 500 yards of the dock which was as good if not better and we could have simply walked there. Reckon on any transfer times you are given to be twice as long as stated due to the faffing about getting people on transport and if you only end up with three or four hours in port you may be better off either making your own plans or even staying aboard as it means that the jacuzzi isn't crowded and you have a better chance of grabbing a good sun-lounger. A note on leaving and re-boarding the ship: When you first arrive you will be issued with a 'Costa card' this is a card similar to a credit card with a bar-code on it and is used to open your cabin door, pay for any purchases or extras you might want and it allow you to leave and re-enter the ship so there is no need to take your passport ashore, it works very well and is one of those things that you think "I wish I'd thought of that". Dress code - Costa aren't aimed at the high end of the market, but neither are they bargain bucket. They are also European rather than Brit so you won't be allowed in the restaurant for your evening meal wearing an Arsenal shirt, shorts and flip-flops, also you won't have to drape yourself with gold and diamonds while having to listen to Nigel and Joan from Crawley bore you to death telling you how much their house is worth. Thank God. Each day there will be a news sheet delivered to your cabin giving the activities for the following day and suggesting the dress for the evening. It isn't mandatory but can be an enjoyable thing to do. During our cruise the dress code was Town - smart-ish but not over the top. Red and black. White night (Get yourself a white suit from Amazon, it's only about 40 euros and you might never get another chance). Red, white and green (Italian) and Gala (posh evening frock, fancy knickers and uncomfortable heels girls). Disabled access - There were around 20 wheelchair users on board and access did not appear to be a problem. also there was allocated seating for the disabled in the restaurants and by the pools and the staff appeared to be very attentive and helpful. Stuff that went wrong - The battery packed up on the cabin safe and it took 3 days before it was fixed and that was about it. Would we do it again? Yes I think that we probably will.

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Costa Magica Cruise Review by churchmouse59

40 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Classic
The Costa Magica is not the most modern ship in Costa's fleet (2004) but it's still in good condition and probably more importantly it's a happy ship. It has a ship's compliment of just over a thousand and carries just over two thousand passengers.

All of the senior officers including the captain are Italian, while stewards, security, catering etc are provided by mainly Asian staff - all of whom are very friendly and helpful and probably underpaid by EU standards. Costa includes a surcharge in the price to cover tips which means that you don't have to tip the staff but a ten euro 'thank-you' to your steward or waiter at the end of the cruise will be very much appreciated unless you actually believe that the company accountant who dreamed up the surcharge also insisted that it was paid to the people who are looking after you.

We took a Mediterranean 10 day cruise that took in Italy, France, Spain and the Canary Islands during late September which meant that there were very few school-age children on board. The passengers were predominantly Italian and French along with a few hundred German, Dutch & Spanish and from what I could make out possibly a dozen British and American. However all of the crew speak English so you can order a drink without having to consult a phrase book.

We were lucky enough to have a cabin with a balcony. The cabin was clean, the bed was comfortable, there is a thermostat to control the temperature and there was a couch, desk and plenty of room to stow cases and hang clothing - although if you have a lot it might be worth bringing a few extra coat hangers with you.The shower/toilet was clean with plenty of hot water and towels were provided for the bathroom, and also for use with the on-deck sun loungers. The TV in the cabin broadcast 4 ship's channels giving information on where you are/where you are going together with timings, excursions, what's going on, stuff you can buy etc. The info being in all of the main languages including English.. The rest of the channels are mainly Italian, German and French but there is the ubiquitous BBC World should you need it but no other English language channels - But then you haven't come on a cruise to watch TV have you!

Dining - I have to say that the food was much better than I had expected. We took breakfast in the self-service buffet-type restaurant where a good selection of both continental and cooked food was available. The restaurant tended to be very busy for breakfast and (I don't know why this is but it seems to be a world-wide occurrence) there will inevitably be an elderly passenger carrying a tray loaded with more food than they can possibly eat who either stops dead in their tracks in front of you and then looks around as if unsure as to why he/she is there or marches resolutely to the front of the queue to grab a coffee as if their very life depends on it whilst ignoring everyone else. Strangely this only seems to happen at breakfast time and seems to be universal rather than confined to any particular cruise line - if you are going to have some minor irritations it will be with your fellow travelers rather than the staff who seem to have been blessed with an additional 'niceness' gene.

The main meal is in the evening at one of the restaurants on board where you will be allocated your seat for the length of the cruise and will keep the same waiter during your time on board. We had originally specified a table for two but on the first night were seated at a table with 4 other people. Having pointed out this out to the staff we were then given a table for two for the rest of the cruise. The evening meal consisted of six courses with a choice of starters, main course and desserts and I have to say that each meal was very good indeed and is the sort of thing that you would find in a good Italian restaurant rather than in a spaghetti house.

In between breakfast and the evening meal, brunch, lunch, tea, supper, snacks etc can all be had from cakes to a burger to a roast dinner.

When you buy your cruise there is the option to have wines, coffees, beers and spirits included in the price. This is called Brindiamo and it is well worth having unless you intend to drink only water, which of course you won't as you're on holiday. If you intend to drink cocktails every night rather than G&Ts or Barcardis or beers then there is another deal called Piu Gusto which costs a bit more. Also if you really, really must have lobster stuffed with cavier and sprinkled with saffron washed down with Champagne there is a select restaurant where you can pay extra to eat away from the rest of us un-washed masses.

Smoking - Is allowed in designated areas and also on individual balconies.

Stuff to do on board - Plenty of things for all tastes really, swimming in the (small) pools, open-air hot tubs, dance classes, zumba, shopping, sauna and gym, hairdressers and beauticians. In the evenings there are shows in the theater which range from good to mediocre (not surprising as they are catering to an audience that communicates in perhaps a dozen different languages). a number of bars ranging from dance-hall size to piano bar most of them with music, also a night club/disco, and a casino.

Stuff to do ashore - Do your homework before taking an excursion as sometimes you will be better off making your own arrangements rather than paying Costa to do so. For example when we docked in Malaga we took an excursion to a beach which meant a 45 minute coach ride followed by 3 hours sunbathing then 45 minutes back. There was actually an equally good beach within 500 yards of the dock which was as good if not better and we could have simply walked there. Reckon on any transfer times you are given to be twice as long as stated due to the faffing about getting people on transport and if you only end up with three or four hours in port you may be better off either making your own plans or even staying aboard as it means that the jacuzzi isn't crowded and you have a better chance of grabbing a good sun-lounger.

A note on leaving and re-boarding the ship: When you first arrive you will be issued with a 'Costa card' this is a card similar to a credit card with a bar-code on it and is used to open your cabin door, pay for any purchases or extras you might want and it allow you to leave and re-enter the ship so there is no need to take your passport ashore, it works very well and is one of those things that you think "I wish I'd thought of that".

Dress code - Costa aren't aimed at the high end of the market, but neither are they bargain bucket. They are also European rather than Brit so you won't be allowed in the restaurant for your evening meal wearing an Arsenal shirt, shorts and flip-flops, also you won't have to drape yourself with gold and diamonds while having to listen to Nigel and Joan from Crawley bore you to death telling you how much their house is worth. Thank God.

Each day there will be a news sheet delivered to your cabin giving the activities for the following day and suggesting the dress for the evening. It isn't mandatory but can be an enjoyable thing to do. During our cruise the dress code was Town - smart-ish but not over the top. Red and black. White night (Get yourself a white suit from Amazon, it's only about 40 euros and you might never get another chance). Red, white and green (Italian) and Gala (posh evening frock, fancy knickers and uncomfortable heels girls).

Disabled access - There were around 20 wheelchair users on board and access did not appear to be a problem. also there was allocated seating for the disabled in the restaurants and by the pools and the staff appeared to be very attentive and helpful.

Stuff that went wrong - The battery packed up on the cabin safe and it took 3 days before it was fixed and that was about it.

Would we do it again? Yes I think that we probably will.
churchmouse59’s Full Rating Summary
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