My hubby and I are not seasoned cruisers and the only previous cruises we’d done were only 4 days each, 25 years ago.
We booked this cruise because of its length (28 days) and its interesting itinerary. Only after booking did we read the reviews and some were not very flattering. Well, I don’t know what the complainers were expecting because we were blown away by the entire experience.
Boarding at Port Lois in Mauritius looked chaotic at first glance but went very quickly and efficiently. We were even given a fruit drink while we waited - all of 20 minutes.
Our sea view cabin was on Deck 4, was very comfortable and we were very well looked after by our steward, Agnad. The only thing that I did not like was the bunks hooked up on each side of the bed but once used to them I stopped bumping my head! Obviously the cabin could take a family of 4. We booked late which is probably why we got the cabin with extra bunks as many other cabins did not have them.
We upgraded our drinks package from pranzo and cena to brindiamo. It was well worth it as it included limitless tea, coffee, mineral water by the glass, beer, wine, soft drinks and other alcoholic drinks that were not above €9 each.
We were assigned to Sinfonia Restaurant - first sitting and our table companions were all South Africans like ourselves. Costa try to at least place you in language groups even if not with compatriots.
The food was amazing and our waiter, Talekar, the gentlest young man with exquisite manners. Not only was he attentive to our needs but he always asked about our day and made sure we were enjoying our cruise.
The Sinfonia was also open for self service breakfast with the option to order egg dishes or salmon. But if you just wanted to grab something quickly the buffet breakfast was also available but you might struggle to find a spot to sit. We found sitting on the stern deck was the best option both at breakfast and lunchtime. The buffet food was very varied and you could always find something to suit your taste. Of course the Sinfonia was also open for lunch.
This cruise was not during School holidays and most of the passengers were over 60. There were perhaps a dozen pre-teen children on board.
Activities on board were varied - I enjoyed the stretch classes, water aerobics and walking offered at various times of the day on the Pool Deck. The animation team were in charge and they were awesome. Then during the day there were craft classes, cultural quizzes, Bingo etc. at all times there would be a place you could go to listen to live music. In the evenings the theatre shows were outstanding. There was also a casino but we didn’t ever use it.
Costa offer a variety of shore excursions. They are pricey but excellent. We chose the least expensive ones at most ports and were never disappointed. The guides were excellent and if something went wrong you could rest assured that the ship would not leave without you. However, don’t be afraid to explore on your own if you’re on a tight budget. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back on board before the ship sails!
Photographers are all over the ship and the photo packages are over-priced. If we were able to just get the digital copies at a reasonable price we would have gone for that. I feel it’s an enormous waste to print huge copies of all the photos that most people won’t buy!
The Costa Victoria is an older ship and does not have the glitz of the newer cruise ships. Call me old fashioned but I like that! There were less than 2000 passengers. Everyone was friendly . The staff were amazing. The cruise director, Daniela was charming and fun and had a word for literally everyone in their own language - she speaks five fluently!
I can49not recommend a Costa Victoria Cruise highly enough. We enjoyed the dining, dancing, shows, daytime activities and the shore excursions. We loved the food. We made wonderful friends and it’s a holiday we will never forget. Thank you Costa Victoria!
Really comfortable but could have done without the extra bunks. Loved having a porthole. A wash line in the bathroom would be nice.