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Costa Smeralda Cruise Review
0.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
22 Reviews

New ship , Massive problems

Costa Smeralda Cruise Review by Craigcruises4u

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Premium Balcony Stateroom

Cruise number 54

Costa Cruises – Costa Smeralda

20th January to 27th January 2020

Cabin number: 15250 - midship , Deck 15 - Premier Balcony Cabin

Total pax : 6554 , Crew : 1646 : Decks : 19

Cruise for 7 nights

Barcelona – Palma – at sea – Civitavecchia – La Spezia – Savona – Marseille – Barcelona

Eventually we get to cruise on the brand new ship after a delay in delivery of 2 months and rebooking’s being made we get to cruise on the 5th departure.

The week started with Storm Gloria hitting Barcelona 2 hours before our arrival, hence preparing ourselves for some disruption. However British Airways got us into BCN on time. Our private transfer got us to the port in a good 30 minutes and that’s where the disruption started. The non-planning and lack of communication by Costa portside and front desk on board was very clear. With over 1000 passengers disembarking and 1000 plus embarking all in the same 20m sq hall which was 7km away from the ship. Needless to say it took 4 hours from arrival to boarding.

The drive by bus from the embarkation hall to the ship gave you a perspective of the new look, new direction Costa is going in (checking in excluded) The Costa Smeralda does not resemble any prior Costa cruise ship (exception of the one half size funnel in yellow and blue) it is unique, modern with a stunning freshness. From bow to stern is an exciting build and one you are eager to explore. First entry on board is that of space and banks of elevators taking you to the central areas on board. Who then knew we would be port bound for the next 48 hours.

Being Carnival Corp’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas)-powered ship. LNG is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. As you venture through the decks, each deck is designed around a Italian city. This brings for uniqueness and steers away from the stereotype found on board other ships.

Our Premier Balcony cabin was well laid out, very well decorated and structured. The bathroom being the largest for this class I have yet to find. Our wonderful cabin attendant Gebe from Bangladesh could not do enough for us as our gifts from Costa each day where waiting on our return each afternoon, the cabin kept spotless and checked throughout the day. The corridors and passenger spaces where always clean, neat tidy and with the modern décor always looking like a Italian interior shop window.

However, the on going embarking and disembarking of passengers at virtually every port turns a relaxing cruise into a constant bags in corridor, manic receptions and no real structure with 5 of the 7 days having rescue drills and people constantly moving around in life vests this format of booking becomes more like a bus service at sea . I am all for people not having to fly to much to join the ship but restrict from 5 ports of joining to 2 or worse on a 10 day route 3 embarkations

The restaurant set up is again new without a central dining room you spread across 4 decks in 5 serviced restaurants, non of the typical themed nights and the “whatever will be will be “ attitude by staffing is not what one expects. Lacking of understanding your work environment leads to very slow service and matre d ‘s that are actually clueless as to the setting out of there restaurants. The on going selling of drinks packages and speciality restaurants borders on harassment when they not meeting daily sales targets. This prompted us to book direct with the Teppanyaki restaurant and had an amazing night with excellent service and food. This could not be said about the pedestrian meals set out by so called Michelin star chefs.

The tours in every port (never got to Palma due to Storm Gloria) are always multi lingual, ether English and French, or mixed with German or Russian. They well planned and structured and using companies local is always a good way forward.

The productions in the theatre and Colosseo, are the worst I have seen on the 7 Costa ships and 54 cruises overall I have cruised on. Made up of two groups of Ukrainian gymnasts trying to be dancers or a very poor version of cirque du soleil. We got to see 2 shows only in 7 nights as the rest where not ready to be performed. Who contracted these people and why??? Little show segments of half hour slots around the ship in venues that don’t seat more than 400 is not going to keep people busy. Hence a lot of complaints you here about the bad lay out of the main theatre only seating 1000 max and a central Colosseo, which has seating for 400 with 18 x 3 deck high pillars covering 40% of the space.

The entertainment team seemed only to be out at the white party the rest of the time in hibernation or just welcoming and saying goodbye to guests on this on going embark and disembark situation. Totally pointless. The hardest working entertainment was the private dance group of 4 giving lessons each day 4 times a day and then having to fill in 4 x 30 minute shows each day as well due to the lack of productions on board.

I could have added a lot more to this review, like no water in the cabin being charged 4 euros per bottle amongst others. I would give this wonderful looking ship sadly a wide berth for a long while as the fixes required will take years if not a cut loose start again way forward with crew or going in the direction of others (Virgin , RCCL etc) where what you pay for is merely a place to sleep and décor . This will attract everyone but the wide cruising community that has built the industry up and supported it and are willing to pay for good service , entertainment and food.

2020 star rating – 2+


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Cabin Review

Premium Balcony Stateroom

Our Premier Balcony cabin was well laid out, very well decorated and structured. The bathroom being the largest for this class I have yet to find. Our wonderful cabin attendant Gebe from Bangladesh could not do enough for us as our gifts from Costa each day where waiting on our return each afternoon, the cabin kept spotless and checked throughout the day. The corridors and passenger spaces where always clean, neat tidy and with the modern décor always looking like a Italian interior shop window.

However, the on going embarking and disembarking of passengers at virtually every port turns a relaxing cruise into a constant bags in corridor, manic receptions and no real structure with 5 of the 7 days having rescue drills and people constantly moving around in life vests this format of booking becomes more like a bus service at sea . I am all for people not having to fly to much to join the ship but restrict from 5 ports of joining to 2 or worse on a 10 day route 3 embarkations


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


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