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8 Italy Repositioning Cruise Reviews

It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was ... Read More
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was that you was unable to watch england games in the world cup tournament and to have wifi would be rather expensive the captains announcements were very clear and accurate information. My wife unfortunately broke her ankle while we were in rome and the medical staff were great and was Amanda of entertainment who came with us to th hospital while we docked in palermos spain also the very kind taxi drivers who took great care with us .I travelled with my with and mother in law and none of us had been on a cruise before we would do it again one year liked it very much. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with ... Read More
We took our first Costa cruise on March 2, 2016 on the Pacifica - we chose it partly because of the itinerary as it was repositioning from Brazil to Italy, and also because the price was very reasonable. Pros - ship is lovely with beautiful decor, large wide hallways and elevator banks. We had an ocean view and an inside room which were both quite spacious. Because of the language barrier on this ship (probably 6-7) different nationalities, shows are a challenge to appeal to everyone. There were of course the ship dance and singing group which were good, very fast paced with lots of costume changes. Most other shows were acts that didn't require a lot of talking, quite a few small dance groups which after the first 5 minutes seems to be all the same and realize they were good at the chosen dance but maybe not adequate for an hour show. Lots of acrobatic acts which were all good but after 3 or 4 of them there's only so much they can do different. All in all we thought they were quite good. A few "magic" or illusionist acts which were disappointing as they were so far back on the stage and in the dark you could barely see - if they were as good as they proclaimed moved to the front of the stage. Really liked the Mime. However, we found there was nothing to do after the show of interest to us and could definitely have better entertainment in piano bars or other areas. - excursions - although we rarely take an excursion, we enjoyed a couple and found they are really well organized and you can book any of them right up to the time they are leaving. They just keep getting more buses to accommodate the people wanting to go - this is a great idea and certainly go the extra mile there. - ship was very timely. Cons Incredibly poor customer service - with the exception of our dining room waiter, Rex, we found on average there is immense improvement needed in this area. We realize this is a problem which needs to come from the top and don't wholly blame the employees, however, some tasks should be a given when it comes to dealing with paying customers. - buffets for lunch and breakfast were set up poorly - a separate salad bar needs to be set up away from hot meal items. Experienced long very slow lines with huge gaps after the salad options which resulted in people skipping ahead which is understandable - we boarded in Santos, Brazil. Brazil is a country blessed with beautiful fruit grown locally and you would think the ship would have stocked up with some tasty varieties of fruit but not the case. Fruit was sparse and selection was poor consisting mainly of pineapple, kiwi, honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe and only got for breakfast. Where is the passion fruit, papaya, mangos to only name a few that we sampled at a local food market? What was there was devoured by those of us not interested in the huge variety of cakes, breads and pastries for breakfast. - in the lunch buffets especially, tables are piling up with dirty dishes with staff standing around, hence customers need to clear tables themselves. - we wonder if staff are happy in their jobs because it just seemed like they all went through the motions - even the bosses in the buffets were unfriendly and believe we were greeted one time in 20 days by a supervisor so it seems staff under them aren't taught those skills. - shower wasn't draining, reported it to the steward who in turn told her she had to go down to the main desk and deal with it herself - really!? - wasn't feeling well one night so ordered a juice at one of the main bars and was basically told I would have to go to one of the other bars for that. - first night on the ship after a long day touring without lunch, decided to go to the dinner buffet instead of getting dressed up for dining room, the only thing we found there was a couple pieces of dried out pizza - to our surprise there is was no large dinner buffet and to our knowledge there never was. - so, in the dining room we ordered a wine, first they opened the wrong wine and then we found out they did not have the one we ordered - the first night? - Our poor waiter, Rex, had a helper that obviously had "0" training in the dining room. From what we saw he was more of a hinderance than a help - Rex had to tell him what to do and when to do it, he had no self-starter skills and Rex was doing 90% of the work looking after all his tables - again, at least some training should be done before he serves in the dining room and again needs to come from above. Because of this, we were almost always still eating our desert when they were trying to get us out for the 2nd seating, service was incredibly slow because Rex had no help. - Costa for some reason uses all bottled water in the dining rooms. Unless your package included water, you had to pay for your water with dinner which we couldn't believe. Not to mention the impact all those bottles have on the environment, are they recycling? Because of this people were refilling water bottles at the water machines around the ship - understandable, then signs appeared on machines to not do this which of course people ignored. - had coffee, tea, terrible watered down juices and milk available for free at breakfast buffet but were not available at lunch - language barrier comes into play for English speaking clients, although they try the English announcements are still with an undesirable accent in most cases and hard to understand, if translation is done at all. No lectures on any of the ports telling you about the history on things you might see on excursions or giving you information on what there is to do if you don't want to pay for an excursion. We went to what we thought was going to be an information session on the ports but all it entailed was a gal selling just the excursions and absolutely no other information. Costa is also very happy to sell transports into the different towns at a much higher cost when there is usually free transport with a small walk from the ship (they don't tell you about that option) I have to mention the total zoo that is the disembarkation. We disembarked at Savona, Italy. Our time was supposed to be 9:45 and our color was orange, but after more than two hours later we finally decided we were getting off as we wanted to get on with our day - we'd go grab our luggage and catch a cab to our hotel in Genoa. Well, wow! We soon found they only set out the luggage for the colours having already been called. People were all getting very upset as they were missing flights and other timelines so were a lot of people like us who had gotten off so they could get on with it only to find the bags were only being brought in as the colours really called. We ended up standing around at least another hour waiting for the "workers" who are obviously Union to bring the bags in most taking one at a time. Very frustrating to watch the work ethic there. Our pain did not stop there. There were no taxis waiting for the hoards of people needing one and no attendant keeping the peace or ordering them which was badly needed as at this time people were getting majorly pissed and trying to jump the que as were missing flights and trains. The other problem was there was another Costa ship that disembarked before us so got all the taxis. This terminal is owned by Costa so they should be prepared for the influx of people needing taxis - just another example of the poor and almost non-existent customer service on Costa. Cleaning - where do I start! - walked into stateroom, on the main counter there were smudges of mascara leftover from who knows when. I left it there on purpose to see if our steward "Renata" would clean it - never did in 20 days and I bet they are still there today. The finger prints and smudges on the inside of our stateroom door were unbelievable - no cleaner had been used there for many cruises - ewwww! - my sister was sitting in the buffet dining area in between meals as was quiet for reading and was able to see first hand the lack of cleaning. Tables were not cleaned with any cleaner but crumbs were just swept off with a dry cloth. On other ships we've been on there is constant cleaning being done along with maintenance, not so much with Costa and that is why the whole ship was sick after about a week. Hand sanitizers were at the doorways, but I never saw anyone use them as no one was standing there making sure they were used - this should be a must especially when the silverware is not wrapped separately in napkins but is being touched by many dirty fingers in public bins. Sun decks would go days without being cleaned as spills were still evident from days before. Never smelled a cleaner and hardly saw anyone cleaning so.... Food Was absolutely terrible. First of all most everything is frozen and then cooked, nothing is prepared fresh and it tasted like it. Food is very bland and hard to find anything with spice of any kind. If you like a lot of breads, pastries, cakes, etc. You will be in heaven on this line. The menu in the dining rooms includes items as normal and then they have meals that would be offered by any other line for free, are charged for. For example, on formal nights you could get lobster that is a norm on other cruise lines for free, but here you had to pay for it - could not believe it. Had a gentleman we ate dinner with that had a restaurant meal for $35 US included in his package - he said to save your money as is no better than the dining room. Ports On the whole we enjoyed the ports as there is so much history in those parts of the world - always something to see and learn about. In our opinion there were too many ports in Brazil - Rio, Ilheus and Salvador were nice stops but Maceio and Recife are a waste of time as not much to see - and Brazil on the whole is not a safe place. As always when travelling, you must always be aware of those around you and who is watching you. My husband was approached in a few ports by people who told him he was being watched as he was carrying a backpack and to be aware - makes you kind of paranoid. But on the other hand we were also helped by locals who knew no English who tried to help us find our way and tried to keep us safe by giving us the best routes to take. Loved Gilbralter and Barcelona and hope someday to go back as more time can definitely be spent especially in Barcelona. We started to think maybe we were just being picky, but after talking with other cruisers, we soon realized it was definitely not just us. The standard we are used to with Princess, Royal Caribbean or even Carnival is just not there and Costa likes to nickel and dime you that is very apparent. I think you get the drift about our opinion of Costa and can make your own decision on whether to vacation with this line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed ... Read More
Pre-cruise started off to a weird start - no prompting from Costa to fill out anything for the cruise, no communications at all. Found their web site to be very cumbersome and non-informative. We experienced Quick embarking (showed up just prior to leaving port), no room card give and no indication of where and when we would receive this. Once on the ship we headed to our rooms and there was the room unlocked and the card on the bed. We toured a little and then went to the buffet for supper as we had toured all day and were tired. To our surprise there was NO buffet, a few slices of dry pizza and wilted salad. We quickly changed and off we when to find our dining room - we had had no communication as to which one we were in or our dining time. Found a bar steward who directed us - got to the dining room, no one to seat you - just pointed in the general direction and left to find your table on your own. Ordered wine, charged the wrong price +$10 - had a great head waiter "Rex" and his NEW helper that was his first day and had obviously NEVER worked in any form of dining service! There were only 3 of us at our table for 8 that night and it took 2.5 hours to get our wine, water, main and dessert. The wine and water took 50 minutes. The helper didn't get any better over the duration of the cruise and had to be directed on every little task throughout the entire 20 days. The Food overall has no taste and meat very tough and usually over cooked. Menu undesirable, most nights unable to pick as nothing sounds appealing. Never vegetables served with main course. Breakfast buffet - terrible, mounds of sweets but fruit is almost nonexistent. Only time you could get coffee with a meal with out being charged extra for it was during breakfast out of the large carafes. Lunch buffets are disappointing, with tasteless food and lots if times food is cold and even still frozen. never changed generally offered the same every day. Costa is All about the extra $, no education about the ports to be visited, only about the offers through ship. Free transportation to town is offered 300m from ship but all that is told is transportation is $14. Ship has very poor cleaning standards, never in 20 days did I witness a table being cleaned and sanitized between guests or even between meals. Cleaning on the deck the same low standard, observed workers wiping and drying but in a 30, minute period never cleaning the cloth or using a cleaner of any sort. Shows had a great assortment and were very entertaining, but when that was done for the evening there was nothing else to do. Did one excursion off the ship - it was good and could purchase tickets up until the time to go as they kept adding busses as needed - EXCELLENT. Over all was very disappointed with the cruise and will not go with Costa again as all previous cruises have been with Princess and Costa can't compete. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and I have cruised all the major cruise lines. This cruise was our first on Celebrity and probably our best, food and service on board was superb. Only complaint was their mis-handling of their Select Dining option for which you ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised all the major cruise lines. This cruise was our first on Celebrity and probably our best, food and service on board was superb. Only complaint was their mis-handling of their Select Dining option for which you pay extra. Their system for this does not work and we spent most of our dining in the Ocean View Cafe (buffet), this was the best run such area we have experienced on any ship with excellent food and variety. A note on the main dining room, we heard many comments from other passengers that the dinner service to over 2 hours and most had to obtain more food in the buffet afterwards because of small portions served. Entertainment and activities was definitely geared towards the passengers average age which I would guess ranged from 65-70 yo. Would I book another cruise on Celebrity -- ABSOLUTELY !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our 7th. TA with Celebrity & RCL and beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was by far the best cruise we have experienced in over 15 years of cruising. It met and exceeded our expectations in all ways. Cruise was booked and the ... Read More
This was our 7th. TA with Celebrity & RCL and beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was by far the best cruise we have experienced in over 15 years of cruising. It met and exceeded our expectations in all ways. Cruise was booked and the flights directly with BA, travelling from the Edinburgh to Miami via London. We arrived in the US some 36 hours prior to departure JIC. Note: Clearing immigration and customs in Miami was a nightmare, horrendous queues (lines) caused I suspect due to insufficient staff on duty. (We were told that this was the result “cut backs” by the current US administration, much like the UK with our almost non-existent border control officers.) My wife and I boarded the ship at our allotted time of 12:30hrs with minimal fuss or delay and the staterooms were ready by 13:15hrs. Our suitcases arrived some 30 minutes later which was a bonus. (Stateroom No.7086) The obligatory safety drill was held at 16:15hrs at our muster station in the theatre. This was a very well controlled drill and we could clearly see and hear the information being given, unlike RCL where it is held on the open deck and in the squash, only those at the front can see what is happening. We opted for the “open dinning” and pre-booked for 18:30hrs., this give us ample time for a relaxed pre-dinner drink and sufficient time to catch the 21:00hrs show in the theatre. We were told by the very helpful staff that we could arrive 15 minutes before or after the booked time with no issues. We did not dine in either the Tuscan Grill or Ocean Liners having done so previously we find no real need to do so again. This despite the repeated and mildly annoying attempts by cruise line staff to get us to book up for a meal…(Just a bit OTT in their efforts to drum up custom for the high number of empty tables we noticed in both outlets on many evenings.) The entertainment provided was exceptional on this cruise. As were the entrainment director Alejandro from Argentina and his entire staff. The decision was apparently taken, to cater more for the age profile of the passengers on board. To this end, a number of the more normal late night entertainments and additional matinee performances by the visiting guest artists were time shifted 15:00hrs. What a very clever and so easy to implement. This change to the normal cruise routine, proved to be very popular and the majority of the afternoon events were performed to full houses. Very special mention has to be given to the UK singer Jayne Curry from Manchester, she was phenomenal and performed her socks off throughout the cruise. The Beyond the Podium speakers were also very good especially in giving valuable and insightful port information. (And not just the location of the nearest “Diamonds International” or other store outlets as occurs all too frequently with RCL) There were literally so many daily activities it was a case of which ones to miss out, in order to attend the ones we wanted to see or take part in. Cruise Staff: They were simply great all round, from the highly visible and very friendly Captain Kostas to the cleaners who do such a magnificent job working tirelessly ensuring the ship looks bright and clean each and every morning. Our stateroom attendant was fantastic, being both very efficient and friendly without going OTT. There were no issues with sun bed hogging especially when the temperature dropped to 20C mid Atlantic. However there were one or two minor squabbles in the theatre with people trying to reserve seating for other friends or family, especially at the very busy 21:00hrs show, this despite repeated PA announcements not to do so. The ports of call were all OK. Having previously visited all the ports, we simply walked ashore and enjoyed the atmosphere in Funchal, Gibraltar and Alicante. Taking lots of pictures, purchasing the odd souvenir and enjoying the great weather was the extent of our excursions ashore. All ports were fairly easily accessed by walking for 15 -20 minutes. (Free shuttle in Alicante) On board photography and Art Auctions are my two personal dislikes. The photos because they are not of particularity outstanding quality and they are now far too expensive. The art auctions because they take up valuable seating space within the ship (especially during adverse weather) and appear not to be, that well attended. In addition, Celebrity make a great hoo-ha about being environmentally friendly even to the extent of asking us not to change our towels on a daily basis. Well how about the waste of quality white paper used in the printing of the hundreds of pictures which are not purchased or indeed the volumes of unsolicited promotional flyers of the various sales and art auctions that arrive in the staterooms on a daily basis. There has to be a more environmentally efficient way of achieving the promotion required for such things by Celebrity, without the need to waste reams paper within their fleet of vessels! Departing the ship was a breeze, we left at 07:00hrs., picked up our bags in the terminal walked past customs with a nod of the head and were in our pre-booked taxi and on the way to the airport at 07:15hrs. (Could not have been easier) All in all it was a fabulous cruise with calm good weather as an added bonus, very nice company on-board a truly relaxing holiday. We are now already counting down to our Autumn TA, from Barcelona to Tampa on the Vision of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < ... Read More
Cruised for the first time as a 25th Anniversary present to ourselves, and other than minor (really, really minor) issues, the cruise was great. We live in Orlando, and drove in to port the morning of the cruise, arrived early - and < 30 minutes after stepping from the car we had embarkation mimosas in hand and were looking at the booths on deck 3. We'd been advised that cross-selling was more prevalent than it used to be, and it did seem that every corner had someone offering a dinner package, a drink package, a spa package, etc, etc; learning to say 'no' came very quickly. We did purchase a dinner package (one dinner at the Tuscan restaurant, 2 at Ocean liners), and we had no complaints or issues at either restaurant, EXCEPT that the MDR food was *almost* as good and no additional cost. Based on the food quality in the MDR, i'd have a hard time justifying the cost for the dinner package on a future cruise. Almost everyone we spoke with told us how 'brave' we were to make a Trans-Atlantic cruise as our first cruise ever - and we still marvel at that thinking. We had no time for boredom, always something going on; a show, a class, an auction, a drawing, meals...all great fun. Of all things, Bingo was disappointing. I'd be fine only playing 3 games a session if packages were, say, $20/person. But the packages were $40/60/80, and that's a bit pricey to play three games and leave - so that was a one and done experience. We were *slightly* disappointed in the karaoke songs options (lots of older music, which is fine considering the typical clients, some newer music) in that there were few musicals included (as in one - 'My Fair Lady' was the only one I find - no Phantom, no Cats, no Wicked, no other big name, recognizable musicals included; just seemed like an odd omission). The ship ported in Madeira, Gibraltar, and Alicante before disembarking in Civitavecchia. We took none of the ship excursions, and so cannot comment on their quality - but can say the pricing seemed high. In Madeira we walked the town and had a great time, especially after 8 days at sea 8-). In Gibraltar we accepted a cab tour from a gentleman standing at the taxi stand, and once a group was gathered (maybe a 15 minute wait), we took off and definitely got our monies worth. He was informative, funny, knew his material and was easily understood. In Alicante I had arranged a Vow Renewal ceremony through a local company, and we met at Castillo de Santa Barbara - beautiful site and all went very smoothly. DO NOT look for cabs at the Castillo though, they don't seem to wait around there at all; expect to take the elevator from the Castillo to the beach and find one there, although it's a short walk to port shuttle from that point. The entertainment was hit or miss, mostly hit for us. Jayne Curry was fantastic, and the highlight of the individual entertainers as far as we were concerned. The juggler/comedian Steve Carte was standard fare, without anything truly distinguishing his work from other juggler/comedians we'd seen busking in parks for many years now. The stand-up comedian lost us and we walked out when he presented a series of jokes (better performed and notably available on DVD and the internet) from Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Comedians stealing material is nothing new, but not such high visibility jokes and scenarios. Gemma Louise Doyle joined the ship in Madeira when Jayne left, and we lost in that trade; Gemma's singing is mostly pleasant, but she has little stage presence and no connection to the audience whatsoever. If we'd not been sitting in the 2nd row we'd have left. The Stars of the Constellation preformed several shows as well, and several were VERY good (iHollywood and the new show Elyria), most were decent and (we felt) only one failed to live up to expectations. It was the fourth night at sea (can't remember the name or theme of the show) but the cast seemed tired or bored, and it showed in the performance - very rote with no energy. Later performances were much, much better 8-). Perhaps the timechanges affected them? Our room itself (inside cabin 9018) was fine; small as expected, but plenty for two people not spending hours awake in the room. Hallway noise was non-existent, and we never heard anything from other passenger cabins. It IS next to a steward pantry, which apparently has metal stairs in it - you can hear the occasional steps being taken. It's also beneath the spa, and seemed to have drains from the spa area passing the walls, so you had the occasional water feature sounds coming from the walls. We found it relaxing (although it probably encouraged the odd nighttime bathroom trip or two), but I'm sure there are pickier travellers for whom these sounds might be disturbing. Service was great, the crew friendly, the weather was all but perfect for the entire trip. We couldn't believe we were finally on a cruise, and now look to make it a habit. A BIG recommendation: when the ship is heading to a new area (not back to the embarkation port), DO have language classes for the end point of the cruise! Celebrity put on ONE one hour Italian class right at the end of the trip, and all the conversation we heard though this not only should be standard fare, it should have started day one and continued right through the cruise! Just a marvelous idea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was immaculate at all times and the hard work put in by the crew was unobtrusive. The accommodation was most acceptable. The food interesting and tasty as well as being abundant and pleasing to the eye. The quality of the entertainment was outstanding and well orchestrated by the very professional cruise director and his team. It was difficult to make choices about what to participate in from the diverse selection provided. Although embarkation and disembarkation were a little irritating for the long waiting sessions, it is appreciated that a large number of passengers have to be handled and the processes were fairly well handled and organisation evident. All in all, this was a very positive experience and one that we would like to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We had a wonderful cruise on Oceana and enjoyed our time on the ship and the different ports of call: Lisbon Cadiz Gibralta Barcelona Cannes Livorno Genoa, back to Livorno Naples Dubrovnic and overnight in Venice. Cabin good, food good, ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on Oceana and enjoyed our time on the ship and the different ports of call: Lisbon Cadiz Gibralta Barcelona Cannes Livorno Genoa, back to Livorno Naples Dubrovnic and overnight in Venice. Cabin good, food good, entertainment good. Weather was perfect apart from showers in the afternoon in Naples. Sail in to Venice with a very good commentary was wonderful. Our only complaint and it was a big one: Lack of communication regarding transfer back to Southampton from Gatwick. We booked online following an email about the cruise and checked to see how we would get back to Southampton from Gatwick. No problem, there would be a coach transfer. No there wasn't! We only found out by talking to someone at dinner (freedom dinning is great) We asked at reception about a coach and were passed to future cruise desk. The lady didn't know but said she would look into it and to come back next day. When we returned the next day we were told by a very smug man Lee Mudkins that there wasn't a coach and that their contract with us ended at Gatwick, end of story, however he knew straight away the cost of a taxi £150. No help, advice, assistance given whatsoever. We were not the only ones in this position and one poor lady only found out as we disembarded. Poor show P & O. Lesson learned....phone and check everything! We eventually got back to Southampton at just gone 11pm and I cannot praise the parking people at "Meet and Greet" enough. After we phoned them to say we would be arriving at Southampton Central Station at gone 11pm the lady said not to worry they would bring the car to us at the station. They saved us a taxi trip to the port. Well done Meet and Greet. To rub salt into the wounds...people had phone calls or emails to say that they could leave their cars at Gatwick and a shuttle would be there to take them to Southampton. We didn't get a phone call or email. It would have been much easier for us to park at Gatwick which is 2 hours drive from us and we had to pass it on our way to Southampton. As it was a four hour drive to get home and it was so late getting to Southampton we spent the night in a Hotel and drove home next day. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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