Have just completed cruise with Costa from Stockholm to Russia back to Stockholm and then down to Italy. Total around 21 days. Ship was built in 2004. Although I suffered from food poisoning on the last night, Dining in Restaurants and Buffett was quite good. Accommodation although a bit dated was good and consider room quite comfortable with a good mattress. The waiters and room attendants were good.That is the good points. The pool area was quite acceptable.
Now the bad points. My cabin was in the lower section of the ship and during normal cruising quite comfortable, however when the boat exceeded 21 knots, the noise was unbearable and the cabin actually was shaking. So take the upper decks if you intend to book this ship. On 3 normal nights I was unable to sleep!. This was mentioned to the wonderful staff!! on the Hospitality Desk and who really showed little interest which was normal practice. There is definitely no customer service in this particular section of the Boat along with the Excursion staff. I went on numerous excursions and whilst I accepted that they might have been a bit expensive I could not believe how incompetent they were. The Russian excursion was excellent. The excursions I booked to Tallin, Rouen, Lisbon and Marseilles failed miserably due to various factors like the tour guide was either disinterested, on medication or something other or showed little interest in our group. The Excursion to Rouen in particular was crazy. We had just 1 guide with more than 20 English and more 20 German passengers. No headphones were provided and the guide alternated between German and English, spoke too low, was disinterested and nobody could hear her. Just crazy. On the tour of Tallin , 5 passengers were left behind due to no fault of their own, just incompetence by the tour guide and forced to either take taxi's back to the boat or walk back. This was explained to the Excursions Staff with little interest. I was not refunded for my taxi fare!!
Other problems experienced including the internet packages. Although this ship appears to take this cruise on numerous occasions the internet packages never worked or provided the service advertised. A rip off. Other little things that were charged for was, breakfast in cabin, ice cream/crepes, Ice Cream Trolley and water. Despite having a Drinks package I was unable to be provide with bottled water. Had to pay 3 Euro. Just crazy. I guess another downside was that Costa Magica was always docked the furthest from the town. Compulsory Hotel service charges were also a surprise which the Australians were not aware of until arriving on board. No mention of these charges by Touring Company in our Booking Contract.
In Costa's Tour Values they state Clear and Transparent prices and no unpleasant surprises. The only trouble is that you are not aware until you arrive on the ship. As one Passenger mentioned, it is always a good idea when talking to Costa Staff to keep both hands in your pockets!. Despite written assurances that excursions etc would be paid at the end of the cruise, they were taken out on a daily basis. Another broken promise.!
Many Australians experienced troubles with this cruise. I would never travel with these people again and that is felt by most people. If Costa do come to these waters, stay away. They are plenty of good Cruise company's better.
As mentioned when ship was exceeding 21 knots cabin very noisy and was shaking. I believe upper decks did not experience problem.