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Sail Date: May 2012
Worst cruise ever!!! I have been on over 20 cruises, Azamara, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Premier (got to be old to remember that one). I booked the Costa Serena for 8 of us, 2 families with adult children, mostly due to the ... Read More
Worst cruise ever!!! I have been on over 20 cruises, Azamara, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Premier (got to be old to remember that one). I booked the Costa Serena for 8 of us, 2 families with adult children, mostly due to the itinerary. We embarked in Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome). Most people had embarked in Savona, so embarkation was very quick. Strange thing, they insisted on taking our passports stating that Italian Customs required they keep them in a safe. The passports would be reviewed by authorities prior to disembarkation and returned to us. What if we had an issue in port?? Also in the past 2 years I was on a cruise from Venice and another from Stockholm and was able to keep my passport. Muster drill was done in English for the few of us English speaking guests onboard. We met in a lounge then up to life boats. Paul, the English speaking host was very informative and stated that the ship would sail at only 50% capacity for this week. Wow, things don't look good for Costa. Considering the low occupancy rate, I thought it was funny that we were not given any upgrades. I paid full price for 3 cabins back in November and watched the price go down to $299 pp prior to sailing, after final payment. I called my travel agent and Costa to try to get an upgrade or any other type of compensation but they would not budge. You would think that an upgrade that costs them nothing would be good customer service, especially after all the bad press! Then negatives... -5 Euro charge for breakfast in your cabin -2 Euro charge for room service -10.50 Euro for a vodka and OJ, charge separately for each -no lido deck buffet for dinner, dining room ONLY for dinner -dinner menu with very few choices, 2 soups, 2 appetizers, 2 pasta, 4 main -no steak, fillet or lobster -breakfast in the dining room was a buffet? Same as lido deck. - midnight buffet with all the carvings, but no food. Waiters walked around with trays of cookies?? -setting up onboard charges with a machine that didn't work, purser's desk would not help, yes I did it online prior to boarding -very poor service from onboard staff, purser's desk The only excursion I booked with Costa was from Savona to Monoco which I paid for in March. Three days into the cruise I noticed a very small note in the "Today", daily paper that the excursion had been cancelled. I went down to the shore excursion desk and was told that it was cancelled because it was too close to the grand prix. They stated that I would not be reimbursed with my original form of payment but they would give me an onboard credit to cover all my expenses and tips!! Since I had to pay for tips and onboard charges I figured it would all work out. I was wrong, the last day when the final bill arrived I was not given the credit and had multiple charges?? After talking to the shore excursion desk and the purser's desk no one was willing to help. I was told to dispute the charge with my credit company. When I came home I emailed Costa and a Costa representative called me. She said that in the fine print of the cruise contract it states that shore excursions cancelled after sailing will be reimbursed as an onboard credit. She went on to say that onboard credits do not include reimbursements for tips and that no cash refund is given. After much discussion Costa agreed to send me a check. Just Crazy!! Upon disembarkation, the ship cleared customs and passengers were getting off but we had to wait for our passports. The passports sat behind the desk but we had to wait almost an hour because the desk didn't open until 8am!!! In over 20 cruises I have never had a bad cruise. This is actually my first cruise review, but I felt it necessary to let others know just how bad it was. I think the only positive reviews are from first timers. While I realize cruising has changed in 30 years I still find it a wonderful way to travel! Just not with Costa, never again!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Do not chose this cruise line. Regardless of the price. I beg you. There are too many excellent cruise lines. This is not one of them. First, the embarkation process. This was a total disaster. There were no announcements made. There was ... Read More
Do not chose this cruise line. Regardless of the price. I beg you. There are too many excellent cruise lines. This is not one of them. First, the embarkation process. This was a total disaster. There were no announcements made. There was an "information" line, in which I spent 45 minutes. She checked my documents, and and was told to wait here. It was immediately apparent that there was no purpose to the line. We then saw numerous people walking outside the building, in a pouring rain, with their luggage. We followed. There was confusion once in this new building. After some help from Italian speaking passengers, we got luggage tags, which we put on our luggage, along with a number (6), presumably for another line. We then followed them into the previous building, again in the pouring rain, with our number 6. Number one was called, and all passengers, regardless of their number (1 to 10), lined up, with pushing and shoving. We lined up as well. This was more of a free for all than an orderly process. Costa does this every week. I should have taken this to be a warning of things to come.Suffice it to say, things went downhill from here. We only met our cabin person on the last day of the 12 day cruise, and only by happenstance. We went back to the cabin to grab something at the request of another passenger, and ran into the cabin steward. I am unclear how this happens. We have always known our cabin people from day 1. Next was dinner. After waiting 1/2 hour, we were provided a menu. We were then asked what we wanted to drink. I said coffee. The reply was that I would need to go up to deck 5, and purchase it, and bring it back down. At this point, after waiting for so long, and the coffee thing, we spoke with the person at the front desk. He said that the long wait was due to the muster drill. I said that all the tables around us were being served, and were on the main course, so this was not the reason. He then repeated the muster drill explanation, only louder. As if I would then understand. We ended up leaving in frustration. We thought we could go to the buffet, but there is no buffet for dinner. We also tried to call the front desk, several times, and they didn't answer. On one call, we gave them 45 minutes. We were forced to dress, and go stand in line at the front desk to get answers to our questions. I could go on and on. I think you catch the drift. When you work hard, you expect and deserve a great vacation. You won't find it here. Read Less
Costa Serena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 2.0 3.1
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 3.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.6

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