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From the beginning of the embarkation to the end I would have to say that we were sorry that we chose Costa. No communication had been given to us for getting to the ship from the airport. The phone number we were given was not in service. We worked it out with a taxi at the beginning and end of the cruise at the cost of €100 each way. The itinerary was what we wanted and the tours were well done but for the language barrier. English was at the bottom of their priority list and messages were read after at least 4 other languages first. No one spoke English with less than a severe accent and making it difficulties follow. The crew was sour and rarely smiled. Our safety drill was a series of lining us up at the muster station. Pushed into rows of three, shoulder to shoulder I resented being touched by these serious crew members. Don’t touch me! Tell me. Oh yes, you can’t speak English. The food was mediocre at best. I’ve never lost weight on a cruise before. Communication and manners were lacking almost always. There were no substitutions in the dining room and vegetables were lacking. Any other cruise we’ve been on offer alternatives every day. The buffet was also lacking taste, variety, and tender meat choices. The same menus were offered every day. We could not have butter unless we asked for it and waited for someone to get it from the kitchen. Coffee was offered with breakfast and after that we had to pay for it at the bar. They actually have a drink pkg for coffee juice and water. Most of all, the waiters pushing past you with trays or reaching across you to serve or remove dishes was so rude. Whether you had to step aside for them as they rushed by or get shoved out of line as they filled the clean cup tray, the waiters were rude. Even in the dining room our orders were mixed up and waiters could not seem to serve plates in a mannerly way. They still reached across our faces to serve others. The entertainment was mediocre at best except for one singer and 3 acrobats. The dancers were not nearly what we have seen on any other cruise. Their poor synchronization accompanied poor routines. I guess what frustrated us most was the inattention to the English speaking guests with brief announcements which we did not understand. As well, the tour guides who could speak good English were few with a lack of ability to converse with us. Speaking of inattentive behaviour on the part of the crew, we were mainly ignored with little or no eye contact. The sour looks on most of the employees’ faces indicated a poor work climate perhaps and poor morale amongst staff. Wait staff never helped in any way but to clear dishes at the buffet. No smiles, no good morning, no ability to understand what you might be asking for, such as “Do you have hot cereal this morning, porridge, oatmeal, cream of wheat?” Our room steward was sweet and did his best with a stale-smelling stateroom. The pillows seemed to need washing and the carpets required a good shampoo. (So did our soap dispenser in the bathroom) Another warning is that the added 15% per day is a required fee. They do not regard it as a tip. In fact, they told us that we were free to tip individuals but we could not withhold any of the 15% per day charge for our severely poor service in the dining room. Speaking of money I’d like to say how angry I was at not being able to get an accounting of my charges. I had to have my husband with me because all room charges were put on his account only (even though we signed equal status for charges.) I was the one who booked the cruise, arranged for the tours, paid for our two watches that we bought, all on my Visa not my husband’s. When I asked them to change the accounting they told me that it could not be changed because of the system. All charges and payments would be under the man’s name in a cabin. Really, is this 1950? All said, our itinerary was ideal and the tours worth the money even without good tour guides. There was a lot of written information on each port to follow along. Within the opulence of this ship a number of disappointments seized us and threatened our joy of going to see the land of my heritage. But Norway out-performed this costa ship with its grandeur and awe inspiring beauty.

A great disappointment

Costa Mediterranea Cruise Review by Karnpenner

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Outside Classic
From the beginning of the embarkation to the end I would have to say that we were sorry that we chose Costa. No communication had been given to us for getting to the ship from the airport. The phone number we were given was not in service. We worked it out with a taxi at the beginning and end of the cruise at the cost of €100 each way.

The itinerary was what we wanted and the tours were well done but for the language barrier. English was at the bottom of their priority list and messages were read after at least 4 other languages first. No one spoke English with less than a severe accent and making it difficulties follow. The crew was sour and rarely smiled. Our safety drill was a series of lining us up at the muster station. Pushed into rows of three, shoulder to shoulder I resented being touched by these serious crew members. Don’t touch me! Tell me. Oh yes, you can’t speak English.

The food was mediocre at best. I’ve never lost weight on a cruise before. Communication and manners were lacking almost always.

There were no substitutions in the dining room and vegetables were lacking. Any other cruise we’ve been on offer alternatives every day. The buffet was also lacking taste, variety, and tender meat choices. The same menus were offered every day. We could not have butter unless we asked for it and waited for someone to get it from the kitchen. Coffee was offered with breakfast and after that we had to pay for it at the bar. They actually have a drink pkg for coffee juice and water. Most of all, the waiters pushing past you with trays or reaching across you to serve or remove dishes was so rude. Whether you had to step aside for them as they rushed by or get shoved out of line as they filled the clean cup tray, the waiters were rude. Even in the dining room our orders were mixed up and waiters could not seem to serve plates in a mannerly way. They still reached across our faces to serve others.

The entertainment was mediocre at best except for one singer and 3 acrobats. The dancers were not nearly what we have seen on any other cruise. Their poor synchronization accompanied poor routines.

I guess what frustrated us most was the inattention to the English speaking guests with brief announcements which we did not understand. As well, the tour guides who could speak good English were few with a lack of ability to converse with us.

Speaking of inattentive behaviour on the part of the crew, we were mainly ignored with little or no eye contact. The sour looks on most of the employees’ faces indicated a poor work climate perhaps and poor morale amongst staff. Wait staff never helped in any way but to clear dishes at the buffet. No smiles, no good morning, no ability to understand what you might be asking for, such as “Do you have hot cereal this morning, porridge, oatmeal, cream of wheat?”

Our room steward was sweet and did his best with a stale-smelling stateroom. The pillows seemed to need washing and the carpets required a good shampoo. (So did our soap dispenser in the bathroom)

Another warning is that the added 15% per day is a required fee. They do not regard it as a tip. In fact, they told us that we were free to tip individuals but we could not withhold any of the 15% per day charge for our severely poor service in the dining room.

Speaking of money I’d like to say how angry I was at not being able to get an accounting of my charges. I had to have my husband with me because all room charges were put on his account only (even though we signed equal status for charges.) I was the one who booked the cruise, arranged for the tours, paid for our two watches that we bought, all on my Visa not my husband’s. When I asked them to change the accounting they told me that it could not be changed because of the system. All charges and payments would be under the man’s name in a cabin. Really, is this 1950?

All said, our itinerary was ideal and the tours worth the money even without good tour guides. There was a lot of written information on each port to follow along.

Within the opulence of this ship a number of disappointments seized us and threatened our joy of going to see the land of my heritage. But Norway out-performed this costa ship with its grandeur and awe inspiring beauty.
Karnpenner’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Outside Classic
Cabin EC 5228
All tidy and clean. Cabin steward was lovely but not able to speak English well. We liked him and he did his best with an otherwise stuffy room.
Teseo Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews