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13 Rome (Civitavecchia) Costa Magica Cruise Reviews

I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and ... Read More
I choose it because I travel with my 81-year old mother and was an excellent opportunity to know different cities by using the cruise as a hotel. I had the chance to stay on a suite with balcony and it was amazing. Wonderful staff and service. Restaurants were great and food was incredible. Since we were on a suite, the menu was different from the other cabins, but, nevertheless we went to the buffet restaurant to have lunch several times and the experience was positive. The only negative thing is related to tours. Sometimes it was difficult to get spanish speaking tours and when we finally managed to have a tour in spanish, some guides did not speak the language fluently (they sometimes read from a folder and they have a very poorly translation of the information they have to give) I love the cruise experience and I will probably repeat it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 35th or so cruise. We have sailed on RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival and Costa through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary - figured how bad ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers - this was our 35th or so cruise. We have sailed on RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival and Costa through the years. We chose this ship due to the departure date and exotic itinerary - figured how bad could an Italian cruise be and it could be fun and lively. Well we were very wrong. This was the WORST cruise we have ever taken and our sentiments were echoed by our Norweigen and British tablemates who had cruised numerous times in the past as well. I will list Pros and Cons. PRO - Embarkation from Rome (Civitavecchia) - Exotic Itinerary (5 of the ports we had never visited including 2 cities in Morocco) - Large ship with attractive public rooms - Cabin - interior on 8th deck (only available at time of booking) was kept clean with a fridge and had enough space for both of us - Entertainment - Flamenco dancers, Cruise ship singers and dancers did a good job; White Night deck party was festive with DJ, dancers, confetti; lounge bands were lively, piano bar was busy nightly; casino was fairly busy; the ship had lots of music in various lounges in the evening and The Voice gameshow with 7 contestants which was entertaining. CONS - Embarkation fiasco - no idea we could not be dropped off w/rental car to embarkation entrance...no info provided...husband left son and I on port access road with big pieces of luggage - no bus or cab would stop to pick us up...port police intervened and forced a shuttle bus to stop and let us load our luggage under the bus (seems we should have loaded our luggage on shuttle bus in town of Civitavecchia - we had no info on this procedure. - Only approx 20 Americans on board ship of approx 2800 passengers - 70% Italian extended families; 25% mostly French & German; 5% Brits, Americans, Spanish & other - Msgs repeated in 5 languages all day long - Food was HORRIBLE!! WORST of any cruise we ever have ever taken! Buffets very limited, no real selections, same cold cuts, cheeses, breads and salads daily, same buffet choices both sides...grill outside on decks was normal fare; eggs at breakfast were only possible at the formal breakfast and were set types of eggs pre-made; formal dinner was barely edible - the menu choices were bizarre fare and not tasty - minute steaks, thinly sliced chicken breasts with no sauce, pastas with odd sauces, appetizers no one enjoyed - night after night we all felt the same....what type of menu is this - this food is unsatisfactory - we complained to guest services - we were told the menu was supposed to have been changed; dining onboard was such a huge disappointment - we dreaded our days at sea! We later found out by a fellow American traveler that all the food onboard was PREVIOUSLY FROZEN!!! She said look at the snowflakes next to every item on the dinner menu - the key says previously frozen. We realized thats why the food was soooo bad!! There was no fresh produce and no dishes being cooked onboard!!! Never heard of this policy on a cruise ship. There were NO speciality restaurants either - I guess not if they are not cooking on board the ship! - No late night buffets or special touches like a chocolate fountain or specialty food events. - Air Conditioning barely worked in our cabin - technician came twice said it was a bad, weak system in this line of cabins and close to pool deck with hot air coming in. - Pool deck extremely crowded - 3 pools and 1 slide; slide was always closed; no adult pools - all pools overrun with kids and teens - one day at sea - two of the 3 pools were closed - they claimed seas were too rough - early morning yes - a bit rough but by noon sea was very calm and pools never re-opened. - Rear deck cabins felt a terrible vibration almost nightly when the ship was traveling at 20 knots - made it hard to sleep. - The ship had a lot of movement daily - you could feel it pitching and rolling onboard - we never noticed this onboard any other ships we took and we cruised from Southhampton, England in a rainstorm in the North Sea. - Disco and late night club could not be used by adults (well, it was open to all) however, the 12-16 year olds used it nightly as a teen club occupying it until 3am - most adults would feel uncomfortable dancing in the club with 12 year olds late at night - seemed odd yet, the bar was serving liquor to whoever ordered it. We brought this to the attention of Guest Services and they said this is normal on Costa. - Crew had a private party directly above our cabin on the pool deck with a DJ - our whole cabin was shaking with the music and dancing - we complained 3 times to no avail and even went up to the party to speak to the officer - nothing was done and we were kept awake until 3 am! Other passengers went up to complain and were told sorry party is authorized. - Crew did not seem very concerned about issues or complaints - they seemed indifferent to our concerns and we were not offered any form of compensation either for a bad Costa tour experience we had with some aggressive passengers towards our daughter or the crew party till 3 am above our cabin and the lack of air conditioning every night in our cabin and our 2nd cabin....we both had barely any A/C. - We found out an American couple had chosen to opt-out of mandatory tipping - which was only possible for Americans who booked through American companies - we opted out also and tipped those deserving of tips. All in all this was a difficult cruise experience for us - my kids were bored - 19 and 24 year olds - they always meet others passengers their age on ships - there was no one in their age range....only families with small children or older couples traveling alone. Our two cabins were extremely hot every single night although turned to lowest temps. This was our 5th or 6th European cruise of over 11 nights and we NEVER experienced these negative issues or ever complained about the food on board. We will never sail with Costa Cruises again and would not recommend it for any Americans familiar with cruising. This was not up to American cruising standards. It seems to be a "no frills" operation, with many cost cutting measures in place. The most disappointing was the food and the fact that the dishes were all previously frozen. I had no idea cruise ships - which are known for their food would do this. Fortunately, some of the ports were very exotic and educational. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the train to port, not expensive but train station had no elevator, had to carry luggage up and down stairs, signs at station were horrible, no one to help, no announcements for stops. Cruise port to airport we sucked it up and took a taxi for $200.00.Only 10% of passengers are native English speakers so it was interesting hearing all the different languages, crew does speak English. Cleanest ship I've ever been on-never saw a dirty glass or dish even early morning! My 14 year old LOVED hanging out with European teens in the disco and made lots of new friends! 9 year old only went to kids camp once- intimidated by kids speaking italian and Spanish. Really nothing for the 12 year old she was between age groups. We loved the smerelda lounge after the show, they played bingo every night then had a game with audience participation. Kids were allowed which you don't see on American ships! Music was from all countries and everyone danced-it was great fun!! Their version of the midnight buffet is great-every night at midnight waiters walked through the whole ship with trays of appetizers and sweets, much nicer than one night gluttony. We did not care much for the food but did not go hungry. Shows were great-many different kinds not just same dancers every night. Ports were great! Very different experience for kids with all the languages, they saw that the United States is not the center of the universe!!! Europeans are lots of fun and more free spirited than Americans-they must not need much sleep because all ages were in lounge dancing after midnight and up by 7 in the morning!! This is a circle cruise meaning passengers are getting on and off at all ports-this was great because there was not 2000 people trying to disembark at the same time! Cruise was a great cultural experience for all of us!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely ... Read More
I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely smooth. We went to our cabin and it was perfect. Nice decor and clean. We met our stewardess, Katerina and she was an angel. Really nice and helpful.Our first hiccup, was the fire drill. We asked several employees and no one knew where we had to go. Someone said it was in the theater, but it was empty, so after waiting for a while we went back to our cabin.Food in the MDR was very good. The portions are small but that's the way the Italian eat. If you order the five courses you will be fine. I always order no more than three and for me was perfect, since we had the late seating and I don't like to go to bed too full. The breakfast buffet was awful, the eggs look like egg soup, the oatmeal, completely watery. All this is understandable since Europeans don't eat big breakfast like we do. Lunch buffet was OK. Pizza not the way Americans eat them with a lot of cheese.Smoking is really bad, but again Europeans smoke a lot. It seems they haven't heard about cancer and smoking.We didn't use the casino, because of the smoking. In the open areas was OK.Ports visited were nice. We couldn't visit Tunis and Marseilles was a disaster. We got in to Marseilles and they had buses (7Euros) to take you to the city. We got in a bus and after waiting for one hour in a traffic jam, they stopped a bus that was coming from the town and took us back to the ship. We couldn't see Marseilles which was one of the places I wanted to see. Costa knew that there was a strike in the port and they put the people at risk. Later we learned that a bus was attacked and the strikers laid down on the streets so no one would go into the city. They even had to call the police.All in all, the cruise was OK. We were four couples, so we had a great time. Europeans in general are not as polite as the Americans. They cut the lines, they bump into you and not say sorry, they rush into the elevators even if they see that you were first, but at the end we did the same to them and laugh. Like they say Live and Learn!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is ... Read More
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is small and was unorganized but fortunately because it was January it was not too bad to get through. We got on and the crew were all very nice and almost all of them spoke English. Our cabin was very spacious and had a large space like a window sill for my 3 year old to sit in and watch the ocean. They provided a crib and we had a twin bed and still had plenty of room to get around. Our steward was more than accommodating but finding him sometimes was difficult but others were more than helpful to get him in when we needed him. The ship is very pretty it reminded me of a Carnival ship but less flashy but nicer than a Princess ship. There were not alot of activities to do onboard during the day on the ship but because we had a port to go into each day we were ok with that. They do have a round the clock kids room that we took the kids to and they really liked that. Most of the activities that were offered were fitness related like dancing or aerobics. The food in the buffet was ok... breakfast was good, there were some traditional American eats like pancakes, waffles,cereal and bacon and eggs every day. Alot of meats and cheeses and a fish dish each morning! The afternoon and evening buffet offered hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and other finger foods. All ok, nothing spectacular. The dinners in the dining room were much better but I have to say that Carnival has better food. We bought a wine and water package for 99 euros and that was the best way to go for us. It gave us 6 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of water and that lasted the entire cruise. The reviews about getting around on the ship are over exaggerated. Every cruise I have taken is like this. You just have to get it figured out and remember what elevators go where. We feel that by the end of every cruise that we have finally figured it out! So I think that is normal. There are alot of Italians and other Europeans on board and some are rude but so are Americans. I just pushed back when they pushed me and that seemed to work. That only happened a couple of times. For a layed back culture they sure are in a hurray to cut you off in the food lines or to get on and off the ship. Its actually quite funny. I just let them cut. We had our 9 month old daughter and that brought alot of positive attention. Everyone loves a baby! Actually there were ALOT of kids and babies on this cruise. I was surprised. Getting on and off for port tours was easy. This cruise has embarking and disembarking in 3 different ports so it can get crowded at times in the atrium. But they seem to be pretty organized with all that going on. They only thing I dont care for was the smoking section in the atrium. But Europeans are very much into smoking and was expected. Its just stinky and I hated walking through it every day. The Tours offered were nice. We had to deal with the riots in Tunisia and therefore were sent to Corsica instead and then in Marseille there was a strike and had to be rerouted to Tulon which put us about an hour away but those situations were out of Costa's control so I cant blame them. Overall we had a great time. Disembarking was not hard to get through either. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and ... Read More
Here's a few of comments on our experience on the Costa Magica: We had a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship right off the elevator. Amazingly enough it wasn't noisy despite the high traffic area. The cabin was larger and more spacious than we had on both NCL and Princess. As stated by others who have been on the Magica, it took the whole cruise to figure out how to navigate the ship. I highly recommend that you get yourself one of the larger maps of the ship that the information desk and learn how to find your way around. One of the cruise critic members posted a very good explanation on how the cabins were numbered and the decks broken up. The most important lesson he gave was to look at the picture of the ship located at each elevator. It will indicate where you are and what direction the ship is pointed. When you get off the elevator look to see which direction you need to go so you won't get too frustrated trying to find your way to dinner. The Magica had two seatings for dinner. We chose the first seating and found our table mates extremely pleasant. We were all English speaking and enjoyed each other's company. In fact, the evening meal was the best part of the day with these folks. The other valuable thing I learned on cruise critic was about the 1X package for beer, wine, and water. We called our agent who called Costa and got the package for us. It saved us lots of money on drinks. This package allows you beer or wine by the glass and bottled water at lunch and dinner only. We tipped our waiter at the beginning and during the cruise and he kept our glasses filled. He also poured some for our dinner partners at our request. So each night at dinner we went through one or two bottles of wine and several of water. Big savings there. The breakfast buffet was not as expansive as is on NCL or Princess but it was adequate. We did not take advantage of the buffet for lunch so I am unable to comment. Dinner most nights was good but not outstanding. We did have one evening when they served lamb chops that everyone asked for seconds. We liked the pasta and the bread was great. If you wanted something in between meals you had to find the grill which was located at the very back of the ship where the indoor pool is. It was not like NCL where you could find food at all hours. One of the reasons that you don't see many obese Europeans, the portions were normal sized instead of supersized. I was happy about that. The coffee was only fair however you could buy cappuncino's and lattes that were pretty good. We got our "coffee fix" at the various ports where the espressos were great. The staff worked seven days a week, and usually stayed on the ship for several months. They all spoke excellent English. In addition there was an English speaking "host" by the name of Sean who was available at certain hours if you had questions. He wasn't very helpful with finding out about doing the ports on your own. He said that his job was to support the excursion so he was unwilling to give info on how to get around on public transportation.I surprized and disappointed since I found that the cruise director on NCL to be more than happy to tell you about what cheaper options available once on shore. Embarking and disembarking was the easiest of all. They had everything ready when you got there so all you had to do was go through screening and show you E tickets. Once you got to your room you found your room keys and info on setting up your credit card as well as the daily itinerary in English. They also provided a daily synopsis of the world news in the form of a little newspaper that was created on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Let me start off by saying I had expected this to be a totally different experience than any of my previous 13 cruises. However, I never expected it to be the worst cruise I've ever been on. It was my first cruise out of a European ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I had expected this to be a totally different experience than any of my previous 13 cruises. However, I never expected it to be the worst cruise I've ever been on. It was my first cruise out of a European port. I realize it left out of Italy, but I really thought it would be more amenable to the different nationalities on the cruise. They were not! I DO NOT recommend this cruise to Americans unless they are fluent in Italian. The cruise line made very little effort to speak anything but Italian. It was near impossible to participate on any of the on board activities. The entertainment staff did say a lot of things, ie., Bingo and other games, in English but it was so fast and so mixed in with 5 other languages they rattled off, you could not follow at all. All the ship announcements were in Italian. It seemed that there were only a few announcements that they ever said in English. I was truly terrified that if there were an emergency on this ship, I would never have known what to do. This brings me to the Safety Issues. There was no safety drill upon embarkation at Civitavecchia. This cruise is a circle cruise; meaning people are embarking and disembarking at every port. They do consider Savona the first port, which was the last day for us. That is when they did a life boat drill. Guess it was our tough luck if anything happened the 6nights before that. This is an EXTREMELY budget cruise. It is advertised in Italy dirt cheap with kids sailing free. You truly get what you pay for. The Italians on this cruise were extremely rude. They do not believe in lines or waiting their turn. They were pushy and arrogant. The lack of communication was a huge problem. They also smoke like crazy and smoke anywhere they like. This ship has more smoking areas than non smoking areas. If this is a problem for you, be aware! If you are not used to horrible food and and plastic cups, do not take this cruise. You can see Costa has cut back everywhere they possible can. The only thing you could get 24/7 was coffee and water. They shut the ice cream machines all hours except buffet hours. You had to go to dinner every night in the dinning room. There was not a dinner buffet option. For this reason, people were dressed anywhere from formal to grunge in the dinning room. I'm a 100% Italian American. I am used to good Italian food. There was NONE to be found on this cruise. The pasta dishes at dinner were the only thing that was near what I would call authentic Italian food. The buffet food was hardly edible. Dried out pizza, tasteless burgers and fries. How you can ruin french fries is beyond me. The cabins are good size like all Carnival products. The Entertainment on the first night was okay. The second night, okay, after that it was downhill right to the bottom at horrible. There were three nights where the highlight of the show was juggling. Each night they repeatedly dropped what they were juggling....pretty poor performance. You can tell the cruise lines was spending NO money on entertainment. They were also spending NO MONEY on Air Conditioning. It was almost was an unhealthy hot through out the entire ship. The dinning rooms was unbearable. I left every night as quickly as I could because of the heat. The poor staff was always sweating as were many of the guests. I think it was a health hazard, but I'm sure the cruise lines just looks at it as saving money. The cruise lines provided very little direction when trying to find your tour buses and exit the ship. They never announced you were in port and could start disembarking or what deck to disembark from. It was always a guess if it were deck 3 or 0. The only saving grace at all on this cruise were the staff. The dinning room and other working crew all spoke English and were always willing to help you out. The were great. All in All I wish I had not gone on this cruise. I will gladly pay double or triple on my next cruise to get a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Overall: Thumbs down, our first unsatisfactory cruise in many years. We like Costa because it is the least expensive way to see Europe, Asia, and Africa in a week to ten days. Costa's galaxy of itineraries feature a new country ... Read More
Overall: Thumbs down, our first unsatisfactory cruise in many years. We like Costa because it is the least expensive way to see Europe, Asia, and Africa in a week to ten days. Costa's galaxy of itineraries feature a new country virtually every morning, with exotic destinations like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. As soon as Israel gets a little safer, we are sure Costa will be the first to regularly schedule port calls. The Magica is Costa's newest ship and one of their largest. With beautiful styling everywhere, from the public rooms to the hallways, the ship is jammed with art without being garish. You'll be playing hide and seek with the Esmerelda main dining room (sometimes even following the signs won't help you find it) and the ship's small public passageways create traffic jams of pushy passengers. We did not want to believe the legions of cruise reviewers who criticized the Magica's food. It just can't be that bad, we thought. Wrong. The Magica's food was the worst we've ever had at sea. Bland, tasteless dishes and truly awful coffee. Because of it, we won't be taking a planned trip on the Magica in the spring. Poor food quality, however, doesn't stop hordes people from mobbing Deck 9's buffets, taking every single seat. It's shoulder to shoulder, so plan on escaping to Deck 10 to find open seating. Service, on the other hand, is quite good -- in five languages. Costa has mastered serving the Euro market. Sure, some of the evening shows are super lame, but then again it's pretty hard to find entertainment to simultaneously satisfy English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish tastes. Strangely, shows featuring opera, mime, and fashion generally knock the socks off of any comedian, singers, or dancers. Small Changes -- While shore excursions have been bookable through cabin TV for some time, now you can book excursions and even entire cruises through special kiosks on Deck 3. -- Room service now costs 2 Euro except for the conventional continental breakfast. There are now a variety of breakfast pay-options, from a few Euro on up to 59 Euro for the true breakfast gourmet. Given other food, though, I'd be skeptical of getting your money's worth. -- The waterslide is an open tube and limited to children. This is good news, because closed tubes can cause injuries to adults (I was hurt on one of Carnival's ships in a closed tube, as have others). Embarkation Civitavecchia is the port for Rome, about an hour outside the city. Its embarkation area consists of a few large tents. Departing from our usual taxi strategy, we used Costa's transfers from the Rome Airport. Transfers are $60 roundtrip per person, A taxi costs $200 roundtrip at a minimum. Be sure to check with Costa as to availability of transfers. At Rome's international Airport, there may be only one scheduled Costa bus a day. Ports Savona in Italy is a typical mid-sized Italian town but unremarkable. A large market at the Piazza del Populo, a few castles, a few large churches. Barcelona is a grand European city with much to see in a mere six hours in port. Palma in Majorca is home to the jetsetting Eurochic (plus Michael Douglas). The Caves of Drach in outlying Porto Christo are lovely but not worth four hours of bus riding to see. Take the Valldemosa tour instead. In Tunis, try the trip to Carthage if you are into history. You will be surprised how modern the country is. In Malta, the jeep trip is long but covers all the fabulous scenery around the island and views of neighboring Gozo. Palermo, much like Savona. Good Deals -- Buy 13 liters of mineral or sparkling water for 23 Euro, much cheaper than sodas and better for you. The 44 Euro soda card is a value too if you just gotta have Cokes or Diet Cokes. This card also gets virgin drinks, shakes, specialty coffee drinks, and fruit drinks. The Magica moves to the Americas the last few days of November, so catching the last Med run gives you cool weather and a lack of tourists in the ports. Sales are 75% off on Med-branded clothing before they relocate to Florida or Brazil for the winter. -- To increase bar revenue, Costa used to take shore bought alcohol and hold it until the end of the voyage. Similarly, they take and hold alcohol purchased onboard. Costa is testing a new and much more common sense policy on the Magica -- buy all you want ashore or on board and bring it directly to your cabin. Costa has realized that old policy annoyed passengers and cost too much for screening, holding, and moving all that booze multiple times. Not So Good Deals -- The spa is expensive and offered very few discounts during the week. No wireless internet anywhere on board, and no free wireless in port. The Internet cafe is still quite high at 30 Euros per hour and runs at barely 56K over satellite. Pay wireless is available only in Malta, but it's high speed and cheap. The casino has no conventional poker tables. I guess the world's Texas Hold'em craze evidently has not reached the Italians. -- There are unusually long lines to get on the ship in port. Costa cut back on security and there is often just one guy to process hundreds of returning passengers. This route is not a good choice for the first time cruiser, who should do Costa's 7-day Venice to Istanbul run or an 11-day trip featuring Athens, Cairo, Turkey, and a few spectacular Greek islands. For the Magica, we suggest that Costa drops the ports of Palermo and Savona in favor of Monaco, Nice, Cadaques, or Sete. Hello to Jan and Bob, and shop 'til you drop Celia and Jimmy! To see all our reviews, see www.georgesmart.com/travel. Happy cruising, George and Eleanor Durham, North Carolina Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
Ah yes! The COSTATRAGICA! For starters-Ugly ship. Did I say Ugly ship? I meant VERY UGLY SHIP! It must have been designed by a person with a severe drinking problem. It can't have been planned that way on purpose. Not to mention, ... Read More
Ah yes! The COSTATRAGICA! For starters-Ugly ship. Did I say Ugly ship? I meant VERY UGLY SHIP! It must have been designed by a person with a severe drinking problem. It can't have been planned that way on purpose. Not to mention, it's dirty. Terrible food, really terrible food served in a sweltering dining room and on deck. Your choice of either bread (bread sticks or thawed out rolls) left much to be desired. It did however compliment the boringly bland poor quality entrees. The COSTATRAGICA must have a corner on rude people both passengers and many of the crew personnel. If you are lucky enough to find an elevator that works, good luck trying to get on or off it. The pool was loaded with pushy slobs and children in diapers--in violation of the rules and common sense. God help you if you speak English! You are a 5th class citizen and if you happen to deal with the English speaking representative and he says hello to you, he's most likely lying to you. Talk about useless. Unfortunately,the ship was sooo bad that it overshadowed the excellent ports of call. What the heck, it only cost 6 K altogether. We sail at least once a year and have booked a cruise to Alaska in July on Celebrity which we have used 5 times before as well as Royal Caribbean and Holland America, all great lines. It's a shame we didn't use one of them for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This is a huge ship, accommodating something like 2800 passengers, and it came as a surprise just before we started to find out that this formerly Italian line had been purchased by Carnival. The cruise itself was mostly a big ... Read More
This is a huge ship, accommodating something like 2800 passengers, and it came as a surprise just before we started to find out that this formerly Italian line had been purchased by Carnival. The cruise itself was mostly a big disappointment, and the biggest disappointment -- universally as far as I could tell from other American passengers -- was the food. Drab, tasteless, and certainly not the quality of Italian food that you can find at the simplest Trattoria in Italy or even decent Italian restaurants in the States! The "buffet" offered as an alternative to the formal dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner was mostly "disgusting" -- offering, for example, breakfast of powdered scrambled eggs, dry pancakes and waffles, and lots of cold cuts. "Gross!" as the kids say. The only really good meal we had aboard was at the extra-pay "private" restaurant, where the service and the food reminded me of what cruises used to be. With the $20/each fee, wine and tip, it ran $100. The cruise was clearly aimed at middle class Italian and European families (kids travel free) and offered little that was upscale or sophisticated. The service onboard was good, and the price was probably fair. The diversions onboard, mostly slot machine gambling or sunning, were sort of empty. The entertainment, except for one night, was painfully amateurish. Finally -- and I guess this is widely true of all cruise lines -- the cruise has its hands out for extra money every time you turn around. You pay for excursions, which are mostly poorly organized affairs that "dump" you into hard-sell shopping opportunities in awful places like Tunis. You pay for drinks, of course, even bar prices for every Coke you imbibe. The cruise itself is a constant barrage of shopping opportunities with a great deal of junk jewelry ($10 watches, for example) and other junk. Remember that Europeans smoke like chimneys, everywhere including elevators! Children are unruly and all parents don't pay enough attention to controlling their kids, inflicting them on others! And, finally, as has been widely stated -- Europeans do not know how to stand in line! They push and shove their way in to buffet lines and everywhere else. After being surprised, even shocked, the Americans I saw simply started standing their ground and refusing to allow this kind of line crashing. One irony is that it is an international group of passengers. All announcements are made in 5 languages! But, you don't get the benefit of the internationality, as they seat you with people like you. That does allow easier conversation, but it would be much more fun if there are a greater opportunity to mix as even if the English weren't perfect, most Europeans speak some to quite a bit of English. One thing to be very careful of planning better than we did is ground transportation to and from the ship. You can buy transfers from the cruise line at a reasonable price ($30 each way) if you are going to and from the airport. But, if you go to Rome ahead of time, you will find yourself stuck paying huge fees to limo services -- I figure we spent around $500 just for ground transportation between Rome and the port Civitavecchia! There are cheaper ways to do it, including the train, but you'd better be able to lug your own suitcases from the train platform without any help, elevators or escalators. We did love the stops in Spain, both Barcelona and Majorca, and in Palermo and Malta. Most of these we explored on our own. Many people remarked that they found the excursions were overpriced and not well run. In conclusion, I suppose I am a grouch and the cruise probably was a lot of fun for most of the 2800 passengers onboard this HUGE ship, but it has cured me of the desire to ever again do this kind of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
On October 29, 2005, my wife and I flew to Rome with two friends for a cruise to the Mediterranean on Costa Cruise Lines. The airline personnel on Alatalia were less than candid regarding seating. At JFK airport we arrived 2-1/2 hours ... Read More
On October 29, 2005, my wife and I flew to Rome with two friends for a cruise to the Mediterranean on Costa Cruise Lines. The airline personnel on Alatalia were less than candid regarding seating. At JFK airport we arrived 2-1/2 hours early and were told bulkhead seats were only available just prior to boarding the aircraft. I am 6'4" and could use the extra leg room. We were also not permitted to upgrade. At the Rome airport, we arrived three hours early and requested bulkhead or exit seats and were informed that they had already been filled and that we should have phoned two hours earlier. The Costa rep never informed us of this situation. Not only did she lose two of us at the airport in her haste but she was no help to us in any way. It seems that if you show up early they will not accommodate your seating request but if you show up later, they won't do anything either. As for Alatalia airlines, we WON'T be showing up again! To date, we have not been credited with our onepass miles with Continental. It seems to be taking forever. The ship, CostaMagica, is something to behold! The color scheme and design of the main dining room must have been dreamt up by Ray Charles subject to the approval of Stevie Wonder. Talk about tacky..........what color combinations. The room was a constant hot house. The men were lucky, as we were able to remove our jackets. Many of the passengers did not have that concern on formal nights. They simply wore clean polo shirts. Undoubtedly, one of the male diners was a "gentleman" who earlier in the afternoon saw fit to blow his nose into the hot tub (YUCK!) What the heck..........babies in diapers were also allowed in the hot tubs! Very sanitary! The chandeliers bordered on being obscene. They would have to be seen to be believed! On a good day some of the elevators worked but not all. After our second day at sea, we were given the life jacket drill. Isn't that usually done before you leave port? Thank God we didn't sink before the second day! On an Italian ship, one would expect to be served good food. Guess again, selections were limited, bread was terrible....a choice between bread sticks and thawed out rolls. No variety. Forget about seconds or changing your order. Beef, chicken and veal were tough enough to sole your shoes with, all of which was in line with the general lack of quality and poor service. Desserts were so bad they could have been upgraded with Twinkies! What ever happened to good old-fashioned Italian pastries? All of the other cruises we've been on (this was our 12th), we've been served Lobster and Filet Mignon at least once during the course of a seven night cruise. We did have some very bad shrimp once. I requested iced tea at dinner and was told it was only in a can and would cost extra. We were provided with one very small bar of soap for the week and it did not lather. If you wanted body lotion or a shower cap, it was by request only. BATHROBES? Forget about it! Chocolates on your pillow? Are you kidding? No way! In all fairness, the coffee was good but on the last day at the last meal, a couple next to us (not Americans) were asked if they'd like espresso or cappuccino. That's the first we knew that this was a choice we could have had all week. Nobody volunteered any information to us. Talk about chintzy!!! ENTERTAINMENT!!! What entertainment? I have been more entertained by watching my daughter-in-law change my grandson's diaper. All of the music was canned and the same recorded introduction was played every night. The introductions for the "Shows?" were done first in Italian (understandable), followed by French, Spanish, German and as an afterthought in English! We sailed on Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean lines and were always astonished at the number of and the talent of the musicians. Usually there are two Broadway-worthy shows! The Captain's "Cocktail Party" was designated to sitting in the theatre and being served a choice of either something that tasted like bad Gatorade and Philadelphia's finest canned champagne, while listening to the Captain introduce the entire crew......once again in Italian, French, Spanish, German and oh yes, English! Cleanliness - Some of the glasses and tables in the Piano Bar appeared to have been washed with floor mops. The shops on the ship were expensive (to be expected) but had no variety. Our travelling companions (friends for over 55 years) are of Italian-American descent, and they too were, to say the least, very disenchanted! We had been on several cruises with them previously and they declared that no way would they ever again take a Costa Cruise or tour. Costa also booked us into a second-class hotel costing $200 per person per night somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Rome. We had to take multiple transportation to get to anything worth seeing. There was nothing within walking distance. We are now looking into a July/August Alaska cruise on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Holland America. It's best to stay with a proven winner and not be treated like a fourth class citizen. I wonder.........does anyone ever book a second cruise with Costa? Maybe people who enjoy root canal and are rude, pushy and ignorant. WHAT MORE CAN I SAY? Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Much to my disappointment I chose this cruise with Costa because it was the only cruise that fit into our date shortly after our wedding day. I had never sailed with this company before and boy I wished I had known and not have traveled ... Read More
Much to my disappointment I chose this cruise with Costa because it was the only cruise that fit into our date shortly after our wedding day. I had never sailed with this company before and boy I wished I had known and not have traveled sight unseen or rather palate.I think that I am a seasoned traveler with enough travels to Europe that have lead me to explore over 20 different countries. I have been able to see this with a combination of land travel and cruise travel which include being on over 20 different cruises. These ships include Royal Caribbean, Princess, Oceania, Orient, and NCL. For the good: Costa Magica the ship was in very good condition and the staff was very nice and helpful. Our room which was a suite had lovely appointments, a great balcony, and a jet tub! They didn't skimp on any of the details. Embarkation was interesting in a good way. People boarded each day at every port, and the same as for leaving, this I had never experienced. This made the process of boarding wonderful, no lines or hassles! No one complaining that the cruise had to end.Now what you are wanting to read....the food was just terrible! My husband and I tried to make each meal work. We sampled different things, and everything was overcooked! To the point where one couldn't eat it. The soup was watered down. I mean really bland and thin. I was so disappointed and embarrased as this was my husband's first cruise and my 23rd!!! I was always raving about food on the ships. So, what did we do? There wasn't any room service like I was accustomed to on the other ships. I think there was a limited breakfast menu. We ate at the pizza shop each night. I will have to tell you that the pizza and the salads were very very good! But, don't you think that is sad to be on your honeymoon, after paying $6,000.00 to be eating pizza each night? The pizza area was very romantic, and we made the best of it. The ice-cream was in the same area and that wasn't even working right. My husband ate it anyway because we were so hungry!One day we went to Malta. My husband and I ate lunch there. The island's fish, don't recall the name, is heavenly! For that night's dinner, the dining staff said that there was a change in the menu and that they were serving Mahi-Mahi. Hmmm....where did they get that?  Well, it was the same fish that is from Malta. It wasn't cooked well at all, overdone!  Mahi-Mahi and the Maltese fish are entirely different. Interesting........So to sum it up, I would not recommend this ship if you are hungry or if you want pizza each night after trying the dinning room's meal.My saving grace is that we stayed in Rome for 4 nights after the 7 day cruise and we dined with the locals and enjoyed ourselves on the local fare.( can you imagine, we even had pizza for lunch one day!) We weren't asking for much, just some edible food.Great ship for the decor and staff, don't expect any good food.The exception is if I guess you happen to take this ship and it's in a different location. I have read that the food is very good. Our travel agent highly recommended this ship, but she was on a Carribean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
I went on this ship in May with my husband and my 20 year old daughter. We liked the cruise very much especially the itinerary as we thought we saw a lot of ports in 7 days a lot more than on the Caribbean cruises we have been on. The ... Read More
I went on this ship in May with my husband and my 20 year old daughter. We liked the cruise very much especially the itinerary as we thought we saw a lot of ports in 7 days a lot more than on the Caribbean cruises we have been on. The food was ok not great typical I guess for a carnival ship which is what this ship essentially is I would not recommend it if you want a quiet journey there were more and more passengers as we went along. Also this ship is geared more to Europeans in the food area esp pasta pizza and gelato and the entertainment was too though we were some of the few who understood the shows as a lot of them were in English and the Italians and such did not understand them. We were seated with Americans in the dining room otherwise we had a little trouble communicating with some of the Europeans onboard as not all spoke English but they did have an English speaking guide for the Americans. We liked our trip to Carhtage that was very interesting and we saw a lot of history there. I am sure for the US this ship will have to change the food entertainment and also it will have to have English programs on the TV which it did not have plus they should have movies you don't have to pay for. The ship is very pretty the cabins were spacious and very nice the service was good. I would give it about a 75 out of 100 in cruises I have been on personally it was a good value for the money to see Europe. I prefer Princess and Holland America cruise lines myself but this wasn't a bad ship just not up to par with those lines. Best for families not really adult groups. Great gym enjoyed using it every day and the view was great from there of the front of the ship. Shops were pretty good kind of like what's on Carnival's US ships. Casino crowded but otherwise nice. Internet was available but not real fast as other ships. Dining room food better than buffet Italian specialties were best. Wine and water card was a good value. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 1.0 2.7
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.9

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