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The good: (1) It is a lovely and HUGE ship. Well designd lovely interiors. And because it is so big, people get "difused" among different areas (2) One particularly great idea, their "kitchen lab". You cook a surprise ingredient meal, it gets graded by the chef, lots of laughs, a bit of cooking school and really fun. Highly recommend the idea AND the guys at the Lab who where absolutely great! (3) Also, a great staff that tried so hard to keep up with the volume of people, crazy in/out policies of constant embarkation, disembarkation at every port, not quite for prime time systems, overall mayhem. (Neal and Vanessa at the restaurant - thanks!! - Maria Luisa and Ana, the lovely lady at reception who heard me loud and clear -- many thanks too) Then the not-so-good news: (1) Smeralda was not ready for a holiday cruise so soon after the ship got finished (several previous departures were cancelled due to the ship not being "delivered"). Too much money on the line, so they went for it anyhow. The staff tried hard to put a good face as Management pushed them to be ready. We felt for them, and my kudos to their efforts and attitudes. (2) Never seen before: Costa, in its quest to fill the ship, had EVERY port accepting incoming and departing passengers, so EVERY day was hectic, people coming in, existing passengers leaving, suitcases in/ out, a total mess. (3) In their quest for diners at their "gourmet" $ places regular dining room was less than acceptable. We had two grandkids, so gourmet was not a choice. Again staff tried and apologized. The buffet was OK, but crazy busy. (4) I gave feedback to their customer service staff about my experience while on the ship and they were receptive. I appreciate their concern and their time. BUT, (not their fault) then I was confronted by one of the Maitre d's about my comments (which were not that critical) (5) Entertainment shows are at the most basic. Except for some professional dancers from Hungary (who have great line dancing at 10 pm), the rest of the dancers on shows were sadly amateurish. (6) And FINALLY, forget about not paying the full service charge. Like the "resort fee" in hotels (that Congress is trying to stop as being deceiving price advertisement) you have to pay it in fult. When I inquired I was referred to a sentence in website that the amount is not "changeable". Keep that in mind when comparing overall costs. We had 3 cabins so it was substantial and most importantly not clearly stated in price. Particularly if your cruise ends having issues such as ours. You must pay service the service charge irregardless of the quality of the service. Costa has not sent me a survey feedback request as is usually the practice of other cruise lines. Wonder why?

Not ready for prime time...Management/Corporate issues

Costa Smeralda Cruise Review by Anarollcall

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Classic Balcony Stateroom
The good: (1) It is a lovely and HUGE ship. Well designd lovely interiors. And because it is so big, people get "difused" among different areas (2) One particularly great idea, their "kitchen lab". You cook a surprise ingredient meal, it gets graded by the chef, lots of laughs, a bit of cooking school and really fun. Highly recommend the idea AND the guys at the Lab who where absolutely great! (3) Also, a great staff that tried so hard to keep up with the volume of people, crazy in/out policies of constant embarkation, disembarkation at every port, not quite for prime time systems, overall mayhem. (Neal and Vanessa at the restaurant - thanks!! - Maria Luisa and Ana, the lovely lady at reception who heard me loud and clear -- many thanks too)

Then the not-so-good news: (1) Smeralda was not ready for a holiday cruise so soon after the ship got finished (several previous departures were cancelled due to the ship not being "delivered"). Too much money on the line, so they went for it anyhow. The staff tried hard to put a good face as Management pushed them to be ready. We felt for them, and my kudos to their efforts and attitudes. (2) Never seen before: Costa, in its quest to fill the ship, had EVERY port accepting incoming and departing passengers, so EVERY day was hectic, people coming in, existing passengers leaving, suitcases in/ out, a total mess. (3) In their quest for diners at their "gourmet" $ places regular dining room was less than acceptable. We had two grandkids, so gourmet was not a choice. Again staff tried and apologized. The buffet was OK, but crazy busy. (4) I gave feedback to their customer service staff about my experience while on the ship and they were receptive. I appreciate their concern and their time. BUT, (not their fault) then I was confronted by one of the Maitre d's about my comments (which were not that critical) (5) Entertainment shows are at the most basic. Except for some professional dancers from Hungary (who have great line dancing at 10 pm), the rest of the dancers on shows were sadly amateurish. (6) And FINALLY, forget about not paying the full service charge. Like the "resort fee" in hotels (that Congress is trying to stop as being deceiving price advertisement) you have to pay it in fult. When I inquired I was referred to a sentence in website that the amount is not "changeable". Keep that in mind when comparing overall costs. We had 3 cabins so it was substantial and most importantly not clearly stated in price. Particularly if your cruise ends having issues such as ours. You must pay service the service charge irregardless of the quality of the service.

Costa has not sent me a survey feedback request as is usually the practice of other cruise lines. Wonder why?
Anarollcall’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Classic Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BC
Good overall.

To note: No US TV cable channels not even CNN international.

Great international coverage. Italian, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, German, French, Taiwan, China, UAE, etc.
Taormina Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins