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As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here. Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board. As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around. Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows. The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture. The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough. There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity. Food fell into two categories. The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit. The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun. Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety. By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle. Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note. We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost. Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice. The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money. There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down. Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm. The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face. The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph. If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship. I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded. Would I sail with them again - absolutely.

Very Pleasantly Surprised

Costa Victoria Cruise Review by MK_Cruiser1955

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Outside Classic
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa.

I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons.

My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here.

Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board.

As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around.

Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows.

The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture.

The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough.

There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity.

Food fell into two categories.

The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit.

The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun.

Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety.

By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle.

Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note.

We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost.

Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines

Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice.

The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money.

There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down.

Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm.

The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face.

The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph.

If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship.

I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded.

Would I sail with them again - absolutely.
MK_Cruiser1955’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Outside Classic
Cabin EC 80104
The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around.

Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows.

The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture.

The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough.

There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity.
Carmen Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Alberobello Walking Tour
    The tour itself was good but spoiled by the weather, as it chucked down with rain the entire trip - not the fault of the cruise line though.

    The tour was a dual language (French / English) one so you heard everything twice, however the guide was good and informative.

    The tour included a tasting session with a pasta dish and wine.

    At the start of the walking tour we were given the option to opt out and visit a bar because of the weather but we persevered and it was interesting.

    It's just a shame it was too wet to get the camera out.

    I would recommend the tour as Alberobello is a fascinating place and I definitely want to go back - but on a dry day
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  • Kotor
    This is a difficult tour to rate as I will explain in due course.

    The trip itself was very good with an excellent guide as you explore the fjord. There are photo stops and after 50 minutes you arrive in Tavat where you have 50 minutes on your own in the delightful town.

    Now when you book the tour it implies you will return to Kotor by a different route, but we didn't and simply retraced our steps.

    What really bugs me is the cost of the trip euro70 a head and you have to share the Tuk Tuk with another couple which means they are making euro280 for each Tuk Tuk

    Compare this with the P&O Tuk Tuk is Madeira where you pay a similar amount per couple, for a longer tour and you have exclusive use of the Tuk Tuk.

    So, yes, the tour was interesting but it was appalling value for money.
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  • Split
    First impressions were not god, mainly because there were four cruise ships in the day we visited so the place was rammed.

    However we persevered and found Split to be a delightful town. It has a lovely promenade and the old town is serene - just pootle around and get lost in the narrow back street and you will find some real treasures.

    The main touristy area can be heaving though.
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