We have always said we wouldn’t cruise with Costa, but when this deal came up we decided to try it. Thankfully, this was a short cruise and therefore the suffering was limited.
The pros were that the cabin we were assigned was nice and quiet and the crew were very nice. Also, embarkation and debarkation were relatively quick.
The cons are too numerous to list but they include an aggressive attempt to upsell everything, a 6 a.m. beer delivered to our cabin (and a couple of others), and the food in general.
Costa has very little for vegetarians other than pity and disdain. I asked for the vegetarian menu and was promised one for the next evening. The next evening the waiter, a good man, gave me the vegetarian menu before being called away. When he returned, he took the menu away and told me it was only for people with allergies. It may have been a language problem, but I was not allowed to see the vegetarian menu again. One evening there was literally only one dish that was marked vegetarian and it was not a main, but a side of sauteed mushrooms. The buffet was not better, as the food was always lukewarm, including the salad bar.
Our cabin, though the decor was dated, was comfortable and roomy, with plenty of storage including space for the suitcase under the bed. We had booked a balcony guarantee and received a premium cabin, 5192. We usually use a nightlight in the cabin, but the helpful gap between the door and the floor kept the room comfortably lit throughout the night. Fortunately, the head of the bed was not in a direct line with the door, so we were able to sleep.
The incident with the beer came back to haunt us, as we noticed a spurious charge on our final bill marked “mini-bar”. We never, ever use the mini-bar, so we challenged this right away. At first we were told that a beer had been taken from the mini-bar, which we said was ridiculous since we had a drinks package and could get all the beer they would serve us. Then, after a 20-minute wait, we were told we had ordered a beer from room service. We mentioned the mystery beer delivery at 6 a.m. and after another 10 minute discussion, we were finally told it would be removed from our final bill. I asked for a copy of the new final bill but was told that it could not be done because Corporate had to approve it. We’ll see when the credit card bill arrives.
The ship shows signs of age, and every trip to the public restrooms resulted in at least one unpleasant confrontation with a clearly non-functioning toilet. Which points out the greatest problem with this ship in my opinion, and that is the fact that 853 crew is not enough to create a comfortable and pleasant cruise experience for 2600+ passengers.
We were happy we didn’t pay full price for this cruise, with our costs coming to just about 100 a day per person, but we felt really sorry for a couple we met who had paid 200+ a day per person.