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5 Rome (Civitavecchia) Costa Diadema Cruise Reviews

I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? ... Read More
I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? Never been to Europe before and Costa had numerous itineraries, dates, and prices to choose from so it was the sheer availability of options that other lines simply did not offer. Next, I've cruised with Costa twice in the past (both in the Caribbean) and it was wonderful. The price was right compared to other US-based lines. Where did it go? Understand that this cruise, and I assume all others, are basically a 7-day ferry service to various ports. Folks will embark and disembark at different ports during the week, so it's not a traditional everyone gets on and leaves at same port. That being said, we boarded and left at Civitavecchia (Rome's port). We visited Savona, Italty; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Having not been to Europe before, these were appealing ports because most were places I would not ordinarily visit on a first time. What did I know BEFORE Leaving? This is important and you have to do your own research before leaving. I knew that the bulk of passengers were Europeans and English speaking guests were likely in the minority. I knew that passengers embarked and disembarked at various ports throughout the week. I knew that lifeboat safety drills were done at every port. I knew that entertainment on-board was likely geared towards European passengers and the language would be mostly in Italian. All this being said, I went on this cruise with a positive outlook and knowing it would be very different than a traditional North American cruise. Next, let's talk about why this cruise was horrible. I will discuss positives at the end and other general issues like cabin, ship, ports, etc, but this is really what English-speaking guests need to know before going on this cruise. I. CANCELLED EXCURSIONS and DISCRIMINATION TOWARDS ENGLISH SPEAKING GUESTS This is by far the biggest complaint and totally ruined this cruise. I can understand an excursion cancelled due to lack of participants because an outside company is used and if only a few folks select that excursion, than obviously it won't go forward. The problem lies in how a participant is defined. On this ship, a participant is not simply defined by having a human body but rather defined on the language spoken by the human. In short, the number of excursions available to English-speaking guests is far less than what is available to Italian speaking guests. YOU WILL HAVE NOT THE SAME OPTIONS AS OTHER GUESTS AND WILL BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY. In Savona (our first port), we pre-booked a seemingly wonderful sounding excursion only to find out, on embarkation day, that it was cancelled with no explanation so we were forced to choose another and had a very limited number of available options. At the excursion desk we were told we had about 3 to 4 to choose from for English speaking guests; which told me that if I spoke Italian, I would have had more. The excursion we ended up with was mostly ok, but it was not one we would have selected. Details on the excursion will follow later on. In Barcelona (our third port), we pre-booked an excursion that sounded great on paper, only to find out the night before that it was being cancelled. Once again, the same process was repeated at the excursion desk BUT this time we found out that our original selection was cancelled because there were not enough English-speaking guests who selected that particular excursion. The excursion was ended up having to pick was nothing short of a pointless, waste of time, and ended up costing MORE MONEY than the original one we wanted. Finally and the most incriminating of all was that Costa offered a behind the scenes tour of the Diadema on the at-sea day. A copy of the excursion description is attached. Once again, the night before we found out that we would NOT be able to do the ship tour. However, the ship was kind enough to provide a written letter explaining why. At the same time, the letter (also attached) completely confirmed by suspicion that English-speaking were clearly being discriminated against and proof lies in the letter. Whether you speak English, Italian, French, German, or Spanish; everyone pays to be on this ship and have the same options as everyone else. The ship tour is conducted entirely by Costa; unlike the shore excursions. The ship tour was made available to everyone, for a price, which we were willing to pay. There is NO EXCUSE for us not being to take advantage of this exclusive tour but for we were English-speaking guests. It was confirmed to me later on that the ship tour did in-fact go forward and the original Barcelona excursion also went forward. Remember that Costa is owned by the Carnival Corporation (a US company). Costa is mostly an Italian-oriented cruise line but you cannot treat English-speaking guests differently simply because there's not many of them. It's not my problem that not many English speakers booked this nightmare of a cruise. I personally addressed the cancelled excursions, with emphasis on the ship tour, with the shore excursions manager and the guest services people (who are mostly pointless) and it was confirmed that the ship defines participants based on the language they speak. The shore-based excursions are limited if you're an English speaker and you will not the same options as everyone else. Even on your tour (assuming it goes forward), English speakers will be grouped with another language, so the tour operator does the tour in both languages. The ship-based tour, however, is 100% within the control of the ship and an accommodation should have been made. The Diadema flatly DENIED us the ship tour, we were willing to pay for, simply because not enough other English-speakers wanted to do it. This amounts to a form of discrimination based on national origin and I will formally address it with Carnival. In short, ENGLISH-SPEAKERS please know that you will be treated differently. You will be in the minority. Expect an excursion or two, or three, to be cancelled due to lack of other participants who also speak English. You will not have the same tour options as other guests. II. GROSS INEFFICIENCY On Deck 3 there is a desk called Hospitality Service Desk which is staffed by mostly pointless individuals who cannot do a damn thing except tell where you need to go to address your problem. These same individuals also give conflicting information and clearly have no idea what's going on half of the time. The first instance was an embarkation day. We wanted to exchange some USA currency to Euros and were told we could do so but only before 5pm which left us 10 minutes. So we raced to our room, got the cash, went back down, waited in line, only to be told that it had to be done before 4pm and we cannot do until after Marseille (2 days later). Keep in mind we were at the same desk, just talking to a different person. How is it that a group of people working at the same desk can be on two totally different understandings? The next instance involved the complaints with our cancelled excursions. The hospitality desk told us we need to talk to the excursions department. What the hell is the point of the hospitality desk if they cannot address passengers concerns. The final instance was on disembarkation day when we had to deal with several issues on our final bill. After waiting in line, the hospitality service guy said we needed to talk an individual sitting at a setup desk, with a laptop, to address the billing issues. Let that sink in...a sole individual, sitting at a setup desk, with only a laptop, to address ALL account issues for ALL passengers disembarking in Rome. After being told this, we flatly yelled at the hospitality service people saying, "You people are pointless!" So, before going, know that the Hospitality Service Desk is relatively pointless. The resolution you'll get will be them telling you to go some place else and talk to whoever else. Also, you will get conflicting information because clearly these people do not talk amongst themselves. I've never seen such gross inefficiency, lack of communication, and lack of clarity onboard a ship. Overall, a complete waste of time. III. Horrible Food I'm not a food critic. I have no idea what's supposed to be good and what's not. I can only go by whether I liked it or not, the portion size, temperature, availability of options, and if I'd order it again. In short, the food in the main dining room was awful. They are all about presentation but the accompaniments, such as sauces, drizzles, etc) were small and mainly just there to look nice; even though they were actually GOOD and should have been in greater quantity. Service took forever. Our waiter was very difficult to understand. The food itself was mostly forgettable and gross. The best meal we had was in the Samsara Restaurant, for which there was a charge. The buffet breakfasts were mediocre and the concept of cooked bacon is elusive as another English-speaking guest. Lunch in the formal dinning room, which we did on the at-sea day, was equally gross. The buffalo mozzarella cheese they pride themselves on looked like a white ball of gelatin and was disgusting. The buffet lunches on the Lido Deck were so-so, and by the time you found a seat, good your drink, and were ready to eat your food was cold. Out of all the dinners we had in the formal dining room, only ONE was excellent. Do yourself favor, eat in port if you can. Overall, the worst food and the worst dining I've ever had....and I'm usually content eating at places ranging from Pizza Hut to a 4-star restaurant. Compared to other cruises, this was by far the worst. IV. WARM ROOM I've preface this part by disclosing I'm from Florida. Therefore, I'm used to constant air conditioning and cool indoor environments. Also, this may be an issue that's more specific to me and not representative to everyone. That being said, on prior cruises, the ventilation and thermostat in the cabin was mostly comfortable. Not here! For the first FOUR DAYS we made daily complaints to the un-Hospitality Services Desk about the lack of airflow in our cabin and the perpetual stuffiness. You could feel cold air coming through the vent but it wasn't forceful. The technician told us they would increase the air flow and seemed to acknowledge there should be more air. The issues didn't seem to resolve itself until about day 5. Thus, for over half of this cruise, we spent in a stuffy room and waking up sweaty and gross. V. GENERAL THOUGHTS 1. Cabin Overall, the cabin size was adequate and roomy. No major complaints other than the AC issue. The bed was somewhat comfortable BUT the pillows were thin and I need 2 in order to actually lay flat. Even then, the pillows were hard and I ended up using the one of the pullout couch. Don't bother with the TV because there's only a few English channels ranging from business news (who cares), BBC News, and a movie station that's actually Italian but plays with English movies. Closets and storage spaces were plentiful. The bathroom was what you'd expect. Adequate shelving. However, the shower curtain doesn't go all the way down to the floor for some unknown reason so water gets all over the floor from the water dripping down the curtain and from splashing out. I tried moving in the limiting room available to avoid the water splashing out; it looked like a Cirque du Soleil in there. The cabin steward was very good and the room was kept clean and orderly. THERE IS NO TURN DOWN SERVICE and no cute towel animals. Not a major issue but just something to know. 2. Entertainment an Activities Not much say to here because we didn't do anything except see a few shows. Know that Mediterranean cruises are heavily port-insensitive so days started early and we were mostly tired by the end of them. Most shows were done in Italian with little english thrown in so we didn't bother. The production shows were good and enjoyable. The acrobatic stuff was cool. They could have had more universal type shows so everyone could enjoy regardless of language; such as magicians, variety acts that do not involve speaking, or anything you see an AGT (America's Got Talent) that involves dancing, light acts, etc. 3. Ports By now, you've already read and understood the excursions issue we had so this bit is more on the specific ports and our experiences with the tours we had. Savona - A mostly pointless port as the bulk of excursions were to Genoa, so why not just go there? I would have liked to have seen the Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Genoa but the availability wasn't there [for English speaking guests]. The excursion we ended up took us to two small towns which were wonderful and charming. But I would rather seen the Cinque Terre. Stopping in Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno would have lent itself to more cooler excursions and things to see; assuming of course they aren't cancelled. Would I return to this port, NO. Select a route that goes to Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno. Marseille - There is a lot here and our pre-booked excursion actually went forward! We were in a tour with another language so heard the information twice. The guide was wonderful and I appreciated the time she took having to do double the work. I would have liked more time to see Marseille but our excursion took us to two small towns in Provence (Arles and Saint Remy).At each town, you had at least an hour of free time. Overall, this was an enjoyable day and no major complaints or issues. Would I return to this port, YES...on another cruise of course. Barcelona - Barcelona has A LOT to offer and A LOT to see. I would suggest booking your own excursion with an outside company. We separately booked tickets for the Sagrada Familia before we left and planned accordingly. You want to see the inside of this church as it is magnificent. Our original excursion would have taken us to different landmarks around the city an allowed free time. It was only 4 hours in the AM, which left us enough time to make it back to the Sagrada for our tour inside. The excursion we ended up with was a complete waste of time. You saw Barcelona's treasured landmarks from a bus, but I was sitting on the wrong side so I didn't get to see them. And there was no let-off time to actually see them. We did better exploring on our own. My advice, if you're in Barcelona for a long time, look for an outside company that can do a tour in 5-6 hours. Or, do a ship-based excursion that allows you to see the major sights BUT do not miss seeing the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Would I return to this port, absolutely YES. I would return here on my own. Palma de Mallorca - Palma is on the island of Mallorca, which is part of Spain and right off the coast from Barcelona. This is a truly wonderful port and was the highlight of the entire cruise. We pre-booked the dragon caves tour and it went forward (yay). The excursion was great, nicely coordinated, guide was wonderful, and only lasted 4-5 hours which left you the entire afternoon to see an explore Palma on your own. There was a stop to a pearl factory but I could less about glass pearls so it mostly yawn time for me. Do not do a full day tour here. You want time to explore Palma and eat at the local restaurants. For me, the food in Palma was among the best food I had during the cruise...because it wasn't that garbage served onboard. Would I return to this port, YES. I would combine this with a Barcelona vacation in a heartbeat. Cagliari - Cagliari is the capital city on the island of Sardinia which is part of Italy. We did a walking tour of the city which was helpful because we dropped out of the tour about 3/4 of the way and went back to see stuff on our own and eat at the local restaurants which were very good. There is a lot of shopping and nice sights; but the city itself is rather grimy (graffiti on the walls, poorly cared for buildings, etc) but whatever. The beaches in Sardinia are supposedly beautiful but we didn't see any. There is a nearby beach called Poetto which is the main beach for Cagliari, but the island's more prettier beaches are about 45 minutes outside of the city. Overall, this was an average port and worthwhile seeing. Would I return to this port, POSSIBLY but not in a hurry. If I did, I would want to see the beaches on the rest of the island. 4. The Ship Itself Despite all the issues, the Diadema is a gorgeous ship. The atrium lobby is breathtaking. The colors and design are very nice and what I expected based on two prior Costa cruises. The public spaces were nice. The pool areas were nice. There seemed to be adequate deck space for chairs, but we didn't use the pools at all because it was mostly chilly this time of year. The ship was kept clean and despite the prevalence of Europeans, there was not a lot of smoking and no indoor smoking permitted. There is no promenade deck that encompasses the ship! In prior cruises, we would enjoy strolling on a deck (usually around decks 6 to 4) that takes you all around the ship. That doesn't exist on this ship and the only promenade deck to speak of is actually up the pool and you have to go up and down various stairs and you have no access to the bow of the ship. The main dining room was not as lavishly decorated as you'd expect and the main theater was a bit underwhelming. The casino is SMALL compared to other ships. 5. Embarkation The embarkation process varies from port to port, so I can only talk about Civitavecchia and it was a breeze, efficient, and hassle-free. The terminal building is a new and construction remains ongoing but the inside was sleek, clean, and had adequate seating (upstairs ONLY). We had our bags relatively quickly. Overall, no major issues or complaints. 6. Disembarkation The ship's disembarkation process structure was fine and I have no complaints. The process of reconciling your account is an absolute disaster and goes back to issues of gross inefficiency addressed above. Remember the terminal I discussed above? Herein lies the problem, if you are disembarked and waiting for a car service or whatever, there is NO PLACE TO SIT INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. All the seating is upstairs past security. We weren't 100% of exactly when we would be able to leave the ship so we told our car service to pick us by 11, but we were actually off by 9:30 so we waiting around for over an hour with no place to sit except the ground. My advice, if you are pre-arranging a car service, give them the hour after the ship pulls into port. For example, if you're arriving in Civitavecchia at 8am, tell the car service 9 and then request the earliest disembarkation time (I was told you could do that). VI. CONCLUSION and FINAL COMMENTS I would never again go on another Costa cruise; even if they gave me a free cruise or credit towards another. Compared to my last two Costa cruises, this was horrible. My next Mediterranean cruise will ONLY be on a US-cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, or grudgingly NCL. If you're considering a first time Mediterranean cruise, I would highly recommend leaving from Civitavecchia because you will want a few days to explore Rome. Rome itself is at least an hour from Civitavecchia so any Rome-centered excursions will be a full day and you'll be paraded through the major sights at rushed speed. We spent 4 full days in Rome before the cruise even left; there's just so much to see and you don't want to be rushed. I would seriously reconsider any thoughts you might have about going on this ship. Do your own research, read the comments and reviews, and know what to expect before you go. If you've never done a Mediterranean cruise, I would look for a US-based line instead because if you go with Costa, you will be disappointed and frustrated every day. I would definitely NOT recommend this cruise to anyone and it was an overall disappointment and a blight on my entire cruising experience. If anyone wishes to contact me directly with specific questions or concerns, I'm happy to respond. Send your email to sfarkas425@gmail.com and put "Costa Review" in the subject line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to try to cruise with Costa. The embarkation was not organized. People lined up wanted to get to the ship as soon as possible, despite we got our number to got in. The room was cline. Lunch for the first day was fine, but ... Read More
We wanted to try to cruise with Costa. The embarkation was not organized. People lined up wanted to get to the ship as soon as possible, despite we got our number to got in. The room was cline. Lunch for the first day was fine, but no coffee or tea, had to wait till 16.00 pm,unless if we pay for it. Dinner was not good, soup was not hot, very hectic. The waiter was unpatient to take the orders. Because he was alone to take care many tables. No explanation from daily menu. We have to ordered very quick. After dinner we had to wait long time to get our coffee , because they had to get from the bar. On the following day our coffee were served before dinner. We had 3 times fire drills, which was disrupted our nap. We booked premium balcony, unfortunately the room below the deck pool, we could hear when people moving the chairs. The worst night was on the 3rd day and the 5th day of the cruise, when they had loud party on the deck pool. We tried to call the receptionist, no body pick up the phone after 15 minutes of waiting. I had to go on the 3rd floor to complain about the noises. But no body listen to us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I wanted to take my mom on a cruise for her upcoming 65th birthday as she loves cruises and they're usually the best way to relax and visit so many different countries/places. We have cruised before with Norwegian Cruise Line and I ... Read More
I wanted to take my mom on a cruise for her upcoming 65th birthday as she loves cruises and they're usually the best way to relax and visit so many different countries/places. We have cruised before with Norwegian Cruise Line and I have cruised myself several times with Carnival, but as she lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina now, so the closest and the best cruise that worked for the dates I was visiting her was Costa Diadema 7 day cruise out of Civitavecchia. I noticed right away that on our Costa cards there was a designation of WaterUSA, so to our surprise this meant that you could only get water for free, without being charged, while you were at the restaurant/buffet during breakfast, lunch or dinner hours. Otherwise, they charged for a glass/bottle of water. Same goes for juices, which were only available during the breakfast hours. This was our very first shocker. Dinner experience was horrendous. You are assigned to a restaurant at a specific time, so you have to go there during the assigned time, otherwise you would need to go to the buffet. Food quality was good, but the dining experience every time, except for the last night was horrendous. I'll explain. We wanted to change to 2nd sitting option and that request would need to go to effect next evening, not the same evening; fine, not a big deal. We go next evening to the second sitting and needless to say that waiter only the first night was ok/kinda friendly for the first sitting which we changed. The waited at the 2nd sitting our 2nd night seemed to care less about customer service or just showing a smile, everything seemed like a chore and like a bother to him. At the end, I noticed that my card was not returned once I got to my cabin after ordering a glass of wine. I went back to the restaurant and he claimed that he gave it back to me and to talk to the Maitre D. She was confused as to why I was directed to talk to her, but she tried her best to resolve the issue and mentioned we can request a new card and get it in the room the next day. I got the new Costa Card but lo' and behold all of a sudden my old card was thrown on the floor of the room by someone who obviously dropped it in there. Next day, we obviously didn't even want to go back to our table and requested to be switched to a different one with a different table, so we decided to eat at a buffet, as by now we knew this request wouldn't be completed the same evening, but rather the next day. Next day, our new waiter on the other side of the restaurant seemed overwhelmed and we waited for a while until we were able to place our orders. He noticed that my Costa Card showed the previous table and wanted to tell us we are seated at the wrong table, but I showed him a temporary card given until the new card arrives. Right away, negative kind of attitude. The order by which he took orders didn't seem to match when each party got seated, as other parties that arrived later seemed to get service prior to us already waiting there for a while. Finally, when we placed the orders and the food came to us, he got one of the orders wrong. All in all, it would have been nice to see these waiters be more friendly and not act like we are bothering them by dining there. Our dining took about 2 hours because of all the waiting to order and waiting for food (correct food order). Needless to say, we wanted to see right after that dining experience if we have an option of doing the open seating restaurant Corona Bleu that seemed to have a nicer ambiance. We were told to just go there and that it's free and there is no difference other than having open seating, which would be perfect for us. We went to Corona Bleu the next day and the lady at the front said that it's a 5euro cover charge per person as we would be taking someone else's table. I explained that we were told at our assigned restaurant to come there, but she didn't seem to care to find a solution and just said that I could go back to our assigned restaurant and asked to be assigned to Corona Bleu if there is availability. Of course, that made us go back (due to all sorts of miscommunication happening all the time and lack of customer service), to wait again for next evening to find out if we were able to get the Corona Bleu. We would be notified via letter in our cabin by next day. We opted for dining at the buffet. Next day, no letter, we go to our assigned restaurant to give it and that waiter one more chance, he right away said that an older Italian man is sitting at our table and it's not ours. I was confused and mentioned we were not notified. He seemed almost angry and very unfriendly to have to deal with it, as he referred us to Maitre D who said we were assigned to Corona Bleu. Advising no one has notified us, as was indicated, asked if they can call to mention we are coming, as we don't want to miss the dinner time. Finally, our last night there, all the confusion and unfriendliness, but we got to Corona Bleu and at first our waiter was overwhelmed and didn't seem to know what to do with us, as our table wasn't even set up properly, but he did get us water by telling another waiter to bring it for us so we don't have to wait a long time again. Finally, one of the supervisors was checking to see if everything is going well and we explained our frustration and that even here we weren't sure who our waiter is and it's our last night and this whole experience has been frustrating. He didn't seem to care much either but he listened and sent our waiter, who was indeed very friendly and apologetic and explained he tried to tend to a table with the birthday cake. 2nd Maitre D or manager came that has a higher position that the previous one, Francesco, who really took the time out to listen and resolve the issue, even though it was kind of late, but he did what he could that night to finally make our dining experience a positive one. The waiter with a unique name that unfortunately I can't remember now was indeed very nice and attentive. Francesco tried to make up for all the other negative dining experience days by bringing out a free delicious birthday cake for my mom, as I mentioned it was my birthday present to her in advance, and she didn't want that kind of recognition necessarily as her birthday is not until September, but he did it anyways. Also, he noticed that I was drinking red wine and had the waiter bring me the quality red wine that he likes to have a few glasses of. I wish as he said that we were able to find Francesco sooner, as he was the only one that understood the concept of customer service. Entertainment crew was great, so luckily at least we were able to relax and enjoy the evening dance events with them. They were very energetic, funny, and friendly. The highlight of our cruise was dancing with them. Especially if it's your first time cruising, by all means, please choose a different cruise company, as they simply don't care for customer service or to resolve any issues you will have on the cruise. I have more details of interactions with guest services/reception and so much miscommunication and misguidance on their part as well that would take another page to get into, but the dining experience was really what every night frustrated us and took away from the whole cruise experience and even the quality of food that was actually pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Sadly I found this cruise horribly disappointing! We had multiple issues on board and no help. My first issue was with the social media internet package. It never worked properly. I purchased it mainly for instagram and I never was able to ... Read More
Sadly I found this cruise horribly disappointing! We had multiple issues on board and no help. My first issue was with the social media internet package. It never worked properly. I purchased it mainly for instagram and I never was able to get it to work. I spoke to the same customer service person everyday trying to get it fixed. Then the whole thing shut down and would not work at all. When I showed them I was promised a refund and was later denied because the IT department said it worked fine from their end. That is all great and wonderful, but as a customer who paid for a service I did not receive it. I was told an IT person denied my refund, I never met this person he never looked at my phone or tablet as both didn't work. We then purchased an excursion after being told there was going to be a train strike. Excursion Florence and Pisa this experience was probably one of the worst things I have ever done. First the tour guide lost in the walk to Pisa, he never even took into account that a 4 year can't walk as fast as an adult. When I called him to find out where he was, he hung up on me, I called back and tried to tell him where I was, but he didn't listen to everything and again hung up. After waiting 15 minutes I called again and he realized how upset I was, he at last listened to where I was. We made a meeting point, but at this point our whole time Pisa was gone and we didn't get to see much of the Tower other than in passing. The tour guide then said he would stay with us in Florence and match his walk to my sons walk. He did for about 5 minutes then took off. I ended up carrying my 4 year old all over Florence, but what makes it even worse is that he was moving so fast people were pushing to keep up and my FATHER FELL. He injured himself and his DSLR camera. He asked if my father was ok then proceeded to go on his way not trying to assist in any other way. At this point you would have thought he would slow down. He did not, my father is limping to keep up. Florence was again miserable. Then on the way home we stop at one point so the driver and guide could use the restroom, they don't even bother to ask us. My son who had gone to bathroom prior to leaving had to pee, but it wasn't about us I guess. We then get to the ship I rush off get to the boat carrying my son who is in tears having to pee and ask 3 different employees where the closest restroom is and they all say I DON"T KNOW. I then had to rush up 2 flights of stairs, but it was too late. My son who I told just make it to the boat and all will be ok, had an accident. I then go to talk to customer service and directed to the Excursion office, I spoke to a women who promises to get back to me in 24 hours. She never did! So the next day I go back down to find out what happened and I am told there is nothing they can do. I then ask to speak to a manager. I am told she will be down in a moment, I said ok but I was timing her. I was pretty upset at this point. 20 minutes later no one has arrived. I ask again where this person is, they are surprised she isn't there and call again. Again I am told just a minute 10 minutes later she finally arrives. She apologizes and says sorry I was eating dinner, I am sorry but leaving a customer waiting and then telling them you were eating is pretty upsetting. My family was saving a table at the buffet and unable to eat, which I told her. There should have been another person on call to handle something while she was eating. I completely understand them needing breaks, I don't understand being left waiting. I tell her my story, all I am asking for is a refund on our miserable tour, she says all she can do is one ticket. I am sorry this is unacceptable. I ask about my father and camera and she says that isn't her problem, I can file a claim with insurance. At no time did she apologize. She acted surprised said the tour was great for kids. That is great and wonderful, but is was horrible for us. She said the Tour manager had made her decision, again didn't meet her. There was no I am sorry for what has happened, no let me see what I can do. No offer of anything. The one positive I have about the cruise is the fantastic staff they have in the kids club. They are amazing at what they do. As someone who has 17 years in Customer Service first Disney and now an airline (I purchased this cruise through Costa) I am very disappointed in the customer service staff on board that ship. I have never been anywhere as unwilling to help as this cruise. The food is only mediocre and it is the same thing everyday. They also close off areas in the buffet for pay for restaurants, I would understand this if they had been even half full, but they were completely empty. So you lose seating for the buffet for empty restaurants. We also did not getting any disembarkation information until after 10pm I had to go and hunt down someone for everything so we could go to sleep. I called at 8pm trying to find out where it was and was told it was on its way. You also had to be out of the room, prior to even docking back in Barcelona. If most cruises can turn a whole ship without doing that, how is it Costa can't turn half that in 4 hours. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was the worst cruise I have ever taken, based solely on the onboard experience. I was shocked at how bad our cruise experience was. And extremely disappointed. Stem-to-stern I have never encountered so much unprofessional behavior ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever taken, based solely on the onboard experience. I was shocked at how bad our cruise experience was. And extremely disappointed. Stem-to-stern I have never encountered so much unprofessional behavior by any cruise ship's staff. At all levels. We were treated rudely by nearly every member of Diadema's staff. And the overall customer experience clearly indicates that Costa Diadema's staff are among the most poorly trained in the cruise industry. Dining room staff were rude and bad at their jobs. Our stateroom steward was nice but very, very bad at his job, always forgetting to clean in a timely manner and when he did get to our room, would always forget to perform some basic, necessary duties. Two of our shore tours were cancelled only at the last minute, leaving us with very few options to choose an alternative tour. We were left on our own in multiple ports, because Diadema refused to offer English language tours due to a low number of English speaking clients; that's not totally illogical but the fact that they waited until the last minute to advise us that they were cancelling is unprofessional and incredibly rude. And to make matters worse, when we tried to work with staff at the Tour Desk, we were treated poorly, were lied to, and generally experienced several staff members who did not wish to perform their jobs. We had to beg them to focus and beg them to get answers to our questions. When we boarded we were told by two Costa staff to hand our USA passports over at the ship's Front Desk. We did so and were given receipts. Days later we read that Americans needed their passports in port for Monaco, so we went to the desk to request that ours be returned to us. The two staff members at the passport pickup desk proceeded to claim that Diadema NEVER took our passports and therefore did not have them. They said they never take passports from Americans. Both people were extremely rude to us. When we pointed out to them that we had receipts in our hands from the ship's staff member who took our passports from us, then and only then (but only after we refused to leave) did one of the two staff members agree to walk somewhere else and see what the problem was. She did so with extreme and obvious anger, like an angry child. Of course she DID find our passports and ultimately they were returned to us. But even then she had the gall to accuse US of being at fault for having turned in our passports in the first place! COSTA STAFF TOLD US TO TURN IN OUR PASSPORTS WHEN WE CAME ONBOARD!!! We were shocked at the constant rudeness onboard Diadema. And we were not alone; we met a few other non-Italian cruisers, all of whom told us that they were seeing and experiencing the same kinds of unprofessionalism and outrageously rude behaviour from all of the ship's staff. All of us agreed that staff were particularly rude toward Americans. Not once did any of us observe Italian guests being treated that way. Disgusting behavior. Costa Diadema staff clearly do not have a customer service focus on their poorly-run ship. I've cruised dozens of times on many cruise lines and have never in my life experienced the general rudeness and unprofessional behaviour that we experienced everywhere on the Costa Diadema. I'm not only unhappy, I am genuinely angry. Not only will I never sail again on Costa, but I will shame them publicly in cruise web communities - as I am here - as the single worst cruise line and worst cruise ship possible. If Costa is serious about solving their significant and many problems, they will have to start listening to their customers, and they will require serious retraining with a focus on customers. Right now Costa clearly don't care about their customers. Shame on them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Costa Diadema Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.0
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 N/A

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